SACRAMENTO, Calif —California voters yesterday passed Proposition 68, a $4 billion state bond measure that will provide critical funding for state parks, clean water, climate change resilience, and wildlife habitat – including $200 million in funding to address the deterioration of the Salton Sea. Audubon was a strong supporter of the measure, ralling its membership and local Audubon chapters to encourage voters to support it.
The following is a statement from Audubon California Executive Director Sarah Rose:
“The passage of Prop. 68 sends a loud message to the world that we are going to protect the natural treasures that are so important to our identity as Californians, and make investments to ensure their future. More importantly, we’re going to take bold action to prepare for climate change and protect communities in jeopardy, like those at the Salton Sea.
Far too many of our communities lack access to safe parks or clean water, and passing this measure is our first step in making sure that every Californian has the opportunity to take part in the California dream.
Audubon is dedicated to protecting California’s natural treasures for all to enjoy, and we, with the support of our thousands of members, chapters, and allies across the state worked diligently to help pass Proposition 68.
Now we are anxious to get to work ensuring that the funding in Proposition 68 is spent where it is needed most – to create equity in our outdoor public spaces, to ensure that everyone has access clean drinking water, to prepare our state for climate change, and to ensure a better future for those living around the Salton Sea.
On behalf of the Audubon California, I extend congratulations to all of our chapters, volunteers and advocates across the state who worked so hard to help make this happen. This is an important step forward for California and our state’s conservation legacy.”
Audubon California was part of a broad coalition of organizations working closely with lawmakers during the 2017 legislative session to put Prop. 68 on the ballot. This critical win comes at a time when millions of Californians don’t have access to safe parks, trails, and recreation areas. Moreover, the cycle of drought and extreme weather is already taking a toll on California’s natural treasures, and threatens our communities with flooding and ecological degradation.
These same forces have also exposed our state’s antiquated water infrastructure, bringing into doubt our ability to provide clean, safe, and reliable drinking water to our residents. Lastly, with most of the bond funding for vital conservation programs running out in the last few years, it is time for Californians to make the next investment in the protection of the natural resources that make California’s parks and open spaces destinations for millions of visitors every year.
For the birds of the Pacific Flyway, and the roughly one million people living around the Salton Sea, Prop. 68 has profound importance. The bond measure includes $200 million for vitally important dust mitigation and habitat restoration at the Salton Sea, where water diversions are creating a public health disaster and destroying habitat.
Funding for important conservation priorities:
$2.83 billion for parks and natural resources funding
- Investments in park-poor neighborhoods
- Much-needed maintenance for state parks
- Trails and creek restoration
- Funding for critical restoration at the Salton Sea
$1.27 billion for water reliability
- Clean drinking water projects
- Groundwater clean-up and sustainability
- Flood protection, including multi-benefit flood projects
$767 million for state conservancies
- Vital landscape-scale conservation work
- Ocean, bay, and coastal protection
$442 million for climate adaptation
- Projects to ensure habitat connectivity
- Collaborations on climate-smart farm practices
- Rivers and waterways restoration