Law:Division 22.3. Sacramento-san Joaquin Delta Conservancy (California)

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Contents

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Ca Codes (prc:32300-32301) Public Resources Code Section 32300-32301



32300. This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy Act.


32301. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a unique natural resource of local, state, and national significance. (b) At 1,300 square miles, the Delta is the largest estuary on the west coast of North and South America. (c) Its rivers and labyrinths of sloughs and channels are home to 750 species of plants and wildlife as well as 55 species of fish, provide habitat for 700 native plant and animal species, and are part of the Pacific Flyway. (d) The Delta contains more than 500,000 acres of agricultural land, with unique soils, and farmers who are creative and utilize innovative agriculture, such as carbon sequestration crops, subsidence reversal crops, wildlife-friendly crops, and crops direct for marketing to the large urban populations nearby. (e) The Delta and Suisun Marsh provide numerous opportunities for recreation, such as boating, kayaking, fishing, hiking, birding, and hunting. Navigable waterways in the Delta are available for public access and currently make up the majority of recreational opportunities. There is a need for land-based recreational access points including parks, picnic areas, and campgrounds. (f) The Delta's history is rich with a distinct natural, agricultural, and cultural heritage. It is home to the community of Locke, the only town in the United States built primarily by early Chinese immigrants. Other legacy communities include Bethel Island, Clarksburg, Courtland, Freeport, Hood, Isleton, Knightsen, Rio Vista, Ryde, and Walnut Grove. (g) The Delta is home to more than 500,000 people and 200,000 jobs, and contributes over thirty-five billion dollars ($35,000,000,000) to the state's economy. (h) In addition, the Delta provides water to more than 25 million Californians and three million acres of agricultural land. It supports a four hundred billion dollar ($400,000,000,000) economy and is traversed by energy, communications, and transportation facilities vital to the economic health of California. (i) A Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy can support efforts that advance both environmental protection and the economic well-being of Delta residents in a complementary manner, including all of the following: (1) Protect and enhance habitat and habitat restoration. (2) Protect and preserve Delta agriculture and working landscapes. (3) Provide increased opportunities for tourism and recreation. (4) Promote Delta legacy communities and economic vitality in the Delta in coordination with the Delta Protection Commission. (5) Increase the resilience of the Delta to the effects of natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes, in coordination with the Delta Protection Commission. (6) Protect and improve water quality. (7) Assist the Delta regional economy through the operation of the conservancy's program. (8) Identify priority projects and initiatives for which funding is needed. (9) Protect, conserve, and restore the region's physical, agricultural, cultural, historical, and living resources. (10) Assist local entities in the implementation of their habitat conservation plans (HCPs) and natural community conservation plans (NCCPs). (11) Facilitate take protection and safe harbor agreements under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1531 et seq.) and the California Endangered Species Act (Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code) for adjacent landowners and local public agencies. (12) Promote environmental education.


Chapter 2. Definitions

Ca Codes (prc:32310) Public Resources Code Section 32310



32310. For the purposes of this division, the following terms have the following meanings: (a) "Board" means the governing board of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy. (b) "Conservancy" means the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy. (c) "Delta" means the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as defined in Section 12220 of the Water Code. (d) "Fund" means the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy Fund created pursuant to Section 32360. (e) "Local public agency" means a city, county, special district, or joint powers authority. (f) "Nonprofit organization" means a private, nonprofit organization that qualifies for exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States Code and that has among its principal charitable purposes preservation of land for scientific, recreational, scenic, or open-space opportunities, protection of the natural environment, preservation or enhancement of wildlife, preservation of cultural and historical resources, or efforts to provide for the enjoyment of public lands. (g) "Suisun Marsh" means the area defined in Section 29101 and protected by Division 19 (commencing with Section 29000).


Chapter 3. Sacramento-san Joaquin Delta Conservancy

Ca Codes (prc:32320-32322) Public Resources Code Section 32320-32322



32320. There is in the Natural Resources Agency the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy, which is created as a state agency to work in collaboration and cooperation with local governments and interested parties.

32322. (a) The conservancy shall act as a primary state agency to implement ecosystem restoration in the Delta. (b) The conservancy shall support efforts that advance environmental protection and the economic well-being of Delta residents, including all of the following: (1) Protect and enhance habitat and habitat restoration. (2) Protect and preserve Delta agriculture and working landscapes. (3) Provide increased opportunities for tourism and recreation in the Delta. (4) Promote Delta legacy communities and economic vitality in the Delta, in coordination with the Delta Protection Commission. (5) Increase the resilience of the Delta to the effects of natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes, in coordination with the Delta Protection Commission. (6) Protect and improve water quality. (7) Assist the Delta regional economy through the operation of the conservancy's program. (8) Identify priority projects and initiatives for which funding is needed. (9) Protect, conserve, and restore the region's physical, agricultural, cultural, historical, and living resources. (10) Assist local entities in the implementation of their habitat conservation plans (HCPs) and natural community conservation plans (NCCPs). (11) Facilitate take protection and safe harbor agreements under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1531 et seq.), the California Endangered Species Act (Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code), and the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 2800) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code) for adjacent landowners and local public agencies. (12) Promote environmental education through grant funding. (c) When implementing subdivision (b), the conservancy shall undertake efforts to enhance public use and enjoyment of lands owned by the public.


Chapter 4. Governing Board

Ca Codes (prc:32330-32350) Public Resources Code Section 32330-32350



32330. The board shall consist of 11 voting members and two nonvoting members, appointed or designated as follows: (a) The 11 voting members of the board shall consist of all of the following: (1) The Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, or his or her designee. (2) The Director of Finance, or his or her designee. (3) One member of the board or a designee who is appointed by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, who is a resident of that county. (4) One member of the board or a designee who is appointed by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, who is a resident of that county. (5) One member of the board or a designee who is appointed by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, who is a resident of that county. (6) One member of the board or a designee who is appointed by the Solano County Board of Supervisors, who is a resident of that county. (7) One member of the board or a designee who is appointed by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, who is a resident of that county. (8) Two public members appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. (9) One public member appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. (10) One public member appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly. (b) The two nonvoting members shall consist of a Member of the Senate, appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, and a Member of the Assembly, appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly. The members appointed under this subdivision shall meet with the conservancy and participate in its activities to the extent that this participation is not incompatible with their positions as Members of the Legislature. The appointed members shall represent a district that encompasses a portion of the Delta. (c) Ten liaison advisers who shall serve in an advisory, nonvoting capacity shall consist of all of the following: (1) One representative of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, designated by the United States Secretary of the Interior. (2) One representative of the United States National Marine Fisheries Service, designated by the United States Secretary of Commerce. (3) One representative of the United States Bureau of Reclamation, designated by the United States Secretary of the Interior. (4) One representative of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, designated by the Commanding Officer, United States Army Corps of Engineers, South Pacific Division. (5) A designee of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission for coordination purposes. (6) A designee of the State Coastal Conservancy for coordination purposes. (7) A designee of the Suisun Resource Conservation District for coordination purposes. (8) A designee of the Central Valley Flood Protection Board. (9) A designee of the Yolo Basin Foundation. (10) A designee of the Delta Protection Commission. (d) The public members appointed by the Governor shall serve for a term of four years, with a two-term limit. (e) The locally appointed members and alternates shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing board of supervisors. (f) The public members appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules or the Speaker of the Assembly shall serve for a term of four years, with a two-term limit. (g) The Members of the Senate and Assembly shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing body. (h) Alternates may be appointed by the county boards of supervisors.


32332. Annually, the voting members of the board shall elect from among the voting members a chairperson and vice chairperson, and other officers as necessary. If the office of the chairperson or vice chairperson becomes vacant, a new chairperson or vice chairperson shall be elected by the voting members of the board to serve for the remainder of the term. The chairperson shall be selected from among the members specified in paragraphs (3) to (7), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 32330.


32334. A majority of the voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the conservancy. The board shall not transact the business of the conservancy if a quorum is not present at the time a vote is taken. A decision of the board requires an affirmative vote of six of the voting membership, and the vote is binding with respect to all matters acted on by the conservancy.


32336. The board shall adopt rules and procedures for the conduct of business by the conservancy.


32338. The board may establish advisory boards or committees, hold community meetings, and engage in public outreach.


32340. The board shall establish and maintain a headquarters office within the Delta. The conservancy may rent or own real and personal property and equipment pursuant to applicable statutes and regulations.

32342. The board shall determine the qualifications of, and shall appoint, an executive officer of the conservancy, who shall be exempt from civil service. The board shall employ other staff as necessary to execute the powers and functions provided for in this division.


32344. The board may enter into contracts with private entities and public agencies to procure consulting and other services necessary to achieve the purposes of this division.


32346. The conservancy's expenses for support and administration may be paid from the conservancy's operating budget and any other funding sources available to the conservancy.


32348. The board shall conduct business in accordance with the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).

32350. The board shall hold its regular meetings within the Delta or the City of Rio Vista.


Chapter 5. Powers, Duties, And Limitations

Ca Codes (prc:32360-32381) Public Resources Code Section 32360-32381



32360. (a) Except as specified in Section 32360.5, the jurisdiction and activities of the conservancy are limited to the Delta and Suisun Marsh. (b) (1) The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy Fund is hereby created in the State Treasury. Moneys in the fund shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, only for the purposes of this division. (2) Funds provided for ecosystem restoration and enhancement shall be available for ecosystem restoration projects consistent with the conservancy's strategic plan adopted pursuant to Section 32376. (3) Funds may be allocated to a separate program within the conservancy for economic sustainability in the Delta. The economic sustainability plan adopted pursuant to Section 29759 shall be the basis for the program. Funds provided to the conservancy to implement ecosystem restoration projects pursuant to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan shall only be used for ecosystem restoration purposes.


32360.5. In furtherance of the conservancy's role in implementing the Delta Plan, the conservancy may take or fund an action outside the Delta and Suisun Marsh if the board makes all of the following findings: (a) The project implements the ecosystem goals of the Delta Plan. (b) The project is consistent with the requirements of any applicable state and federal permits. (c) The conservancy has given notice to and reviewed any comments received from affected local jurisdictions and the Delta Protection Commission. (d) The conservancy has given notice to and reviewed any comments received from any state conservancy where the project is located. (e) The project will provide significant benefits to the Delta.


32362. The conservancy may engage in partnerships with nonprofit organizations, local public agencies, and landowners.


32363. In implementing this division, the conservancy shall cooperate and consult with the city or county in which a grant is proposed to be expended or an interest in real property is proposed to be acquired, and shall, as necessary or appropriate, coordinate its efforts with other state agencies, in cooperation with the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency. The conservancy shall, as necessary or appropriate, cooperate and consult with a public water system, levee, flood control, or drainage agency that owns or operates facilities, including lands appurtenant thereto, where a grant is proposed to be expended or an interest in land is proposed to be acquired.


32364. (a) The conservancy may require a grantee to enter into an agreement with the conservancy on terms and conditions specified by the conservancy. (b) The conservancy may require a cost-share or local funding requirement for a grant. The conservancy may make that cost-share or local funding requirement contingent upon the total amount of funding available, the fiscal resources of the applicant, or urgency of the project. The conservancy may waive cost-share requirements. (c) The conservancy may fund or award grants for plans and feasibility studies consistent with its strategic plan or the Delta Plan. (d) The conservancy may seek repayment or reimbursement of funds granted on terms and conditions it deems appropriate. The proceeds of repayment shall be deposited in the fund. (e) The conservancy may require any funds that exceed the costs of eligible or approved projects or of acquisition to be returned to the conservancy, to be available for expenditure when appropriated by the Legislature.

32364.5. (a) The conservancy may provide grants and loans to state agencies, local public agencies, and nonprofit organizations to further the goals of the conservancy. (b) An entity applying for a grant from the conservancy to acquire an interest in real property shall specify all of the following in the grant application: (1) The intended use of the property. (2) The manner in which the land will be managed. (3) How the cost of ongoing operations, maintenance, and management will be provided, including an analysis of the maintaining entity's financial capacity to support those ongoing costs. (4) Grantees shall demonstrate, where applicable, how they will provide payments in lieu of taxes, assessments, or charges otherwise due to local government.


32365. The conservancy may sue and be sued.


32366. (a) The conservancy may acquire from willing sellers or transferors interests in real property and improve, lease, or transfer interests in real property, in order to carry out the purposes of this division. (b) The conservancy shall use conservation easements to accomplish ecosystem restoration whenever feasible.


32368. The conservancy may enter into an agreement with a public agency, nonprofit organization, or private entity for the construction, management, or maintenance of facilities authorized by the conservancy.

32370. The conservancy shall not exercise the power of eminent domain.

32372. (a) The conservancy may pursue and accept funds from various sources, including, but not limited to, federal, state, and local funds or grants, gifts, donations, bequests, devises, subventions, grants, rents, royalties, or other assistance and funds from public and private sources. (b) The conservancy may accept fees levied by others. (c) The conservancy may create and manage endowments. (d) All funds received by the conservancy shall be deposited in the fund for expenditure for the purposes of this division.


32376. Within two years of hiring an executive officer, the board shall prepare and adopt a strategic plan to achieve the goals of the conservancy. The plan shall describe its interaction with local, regional, state, and federal land use, recreation, water and flood management, and habitat conservation and protection efforts within and adjacent to the Delta. The strategic plan shall establish priorities and criteria for projects and programs, based upon an assessment of program requirements, institutional capabilities, and funding needs throughout the Delta. The strategic plan shall be consistent with the Delta Plan, the Delta Protection Commission's resources management plan, the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, the Suisun Marsh Preservation Act of 1977 (Division 19 (commencing with Section 29000)), and the Habitat Management, Preservation and Restoration Plan for the Suisun Marsh.


32378. (a) The conservancy may expend funds and award grants and loans to facilitate collaborative planning efforts and to develop projects and programs that are designed to further the purposes of this division. (b) The conservancy may provide and make available technical information, expertise, and other nonfinancial assistance to public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and tribal organizations, to support program and project development and implementation.


32380. The conservancy may acquire water or water rights to support the goals of the conservancy.


32381. This division does not grant to the conservancy any of the following: (a) The power of a city or county to regulate land use. (b) The power to regulate any activities on land, except as the owner of an interest in the land, or pursuant to an agreement with, or a license or grant of management authority from, the owner of an interest in the land. (c) The power over water rights held by others.


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