West Coast
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. via California Department of Water Resources

CA - Water Resources Development Act to Address Harmful Algae Blooms in California's Sacramento Delta

On July 15, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, reported that he secured key provisions in the “Water Resources Development Act of 2020” (H.R.7575) for the California Delta and Central Valley.

The legislation passed the committee unanimously and now heads to the House floor for a vote at the end of July and is expected to become law this year.

“This critical legislation supports levee projects throughout the Sacramento Valley, which provides critical flood protection and makes local communities more resilient to climate change,” Garamendi, whose district includes 200 miles of the Sacramento River and is adjacent to several major ports, said in a press release.  “I secured provisions in this bill to authorize and expedite construction of flood protection and aquatic ecosystem restoration projects, address harmful algal blooms in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and give local agencies greater flexibility in using federal Army Corps funds to meet local needs. This is a strong piece of legislation, and I will work tirelessly to ensure it becomes law.”

The legislation will create a new Delta “Focus Area” for the new Army Corps of Engineers Harmful Algae Bloom Demonstration Program “to determine the causes of, and implement measures to effectively detect, prevent, treat, and eliminate, harmful algal blooms associated with Army Corps Dredging and flood control projects. This will help protect the Delta’s precious ecosystem from toxic algal blooms.”

In a statement, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, responded: “We want to thank Congressman John Garamendi for his leadership on legislated funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to study and mitigate the Harmful Algal Bloom problem in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, including Delta urban waterways."

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