cusp logoCalifornia Urban Streams Partnership

Action Alert!

Provide Input on the Guidelines of California's Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program

The California Urban Streams Partnership has been following the discussions about how to allocate California's cap and trade funds. In our comment letters and meetings with legislative staff, we have specifically been advocating for a $20 million allocation to the Urban Greening Program as part of the $130 million allocated to the Strategic Growth Council through the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program in the 2014-2015 cap and trade expenditures plan.

The Strategic Growth Council is holding three public workshops this month to solicit input on the guidelines of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program. If you are able to attend, feel free to use the following talking points to advocate for a specific allocation of funding for the Urban Greening program:

The California Urban Streams Partnership (CUSP) represents local governments, watershed councils, stream protection organizations, neighborhood associations and citizen groups which help improve communities through urban greening projects such as turning vacant lots into valued green spaces and parks. Many of our partner organizations rely on programs such as Urban Greening for Sustainable Communities to fund their projects.

We respectfully request that $20 million of these funds be designated for the Urban Greening for Sustainable Communities Program. The Urban Greening Program funds projects in urban areas that provide multiple benefits, such as a decrease in air and water pollution, a reduction in the consumption of natural resources and energy, an increase in the reliability of local water supplies, or an increased adaptability to climate change.

The Urban Greening Program is specifically mentioned in the cap and trade auction proceeds investment plan adopted last year as a recommended investment for consideration. The projects funded through the Urban Greening program meet the criteria for priority investments outlined in the investment plan: these projects create jobs, improve air quality, invest in programs that benefit disadvantaged communities, provide opportunities for businesses, public agencies, nonprofits and others to participate in efforts to reduce GHG emissions, and lessen the impacts and effects of climate change.

The California Strategic Growth Council announces three workshops to receive public input to inform SGC’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program Guidelines
July 29, 2014

Fresno – Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Oakland – Thursday, August 14, 2014
Los Angeles – Friday, August 15, 2014

Space is limited. Please register through the link on the announcement. SGC will webcast and post a recording of one of the workshops on its website shortly after the meeting. Agenda and all meeting materials will be posted prior to the meetings.

SGC AHSC Public Workshop Notice - English Version
SGC AHSC Public Workshop Notice - Spanish Version

2014 State Watershed and Restoration Funding Opportunities

Governor Brown’s proposed 2014 Budget- California Water Action Plan

A budget item of interest to the watershed community is the California Water Action Plan. The 2014-5 budget proposes $619 million to help expand water storage capacity, improve drinking water in communities where supplies are substandard, increase flood protection and increase regional self-reliance. This includes:

Safe Drinking Water: $7 million for Wastewater Projects in small disadvantaged communities – grants to small and severely disadvantaged communities to comply with water quality regulations, protect surface and groundwater quality and reduce threats to public health and safety.

Regional Self Reliance: $472.5 million for Integrated Regional Water Management

California Water Bond Bills

Assembly Bill 1331

As bond is currently drafted (as amended January 7, 2014). Funding is distributed as follows:

Senate Bill 848

As bond is currently drafted (as amended February 12, 2014), funding is distributed as follows:

The two major water bond bills are moving targets, as they will be amended numerous times in the coming months. The water bonds have political momentum this year due to the drought.

Two key people to communicate with regarding the water bond bills are Jim Metropulous, staffer for Senator Lois Wolk who represents the Delta:
The Honorable Lois Wolk
California Senate
State Capitol, Room 5114
Sacramento, CA 95814

And Alf Brandt (, Legislative Director for Assemblyman Anthony Rendon:

The Honorable Anthony Rendon
California Assembly
State Capitol, Room 2136
Sacramento, CA 95814

CUSP will track how funding is dispersed through the state budget and water bond bills and provide updates on what programs will be funded.

Who We Are

The Partnership was formed in 2012 by the founders, former staff members, and past board members of the Urban Creeks Council to revitalize the urban streams movement in California. The Partnership is a project of the Earth Island Institute and administered through a Statewide CUSP Steering Committee, a San Francisco Bay Area CUSP Steering Committee, the Sacramento Urban Creeks Council, and the Santa Barbara Urban Creeks Council.

Statewide Steering Committee

San Francisco Bay Area Steering Committee

Advisory Board


© 2013 California Urban Streams Partnership and Earth Island Institute