California Leads the Way on Parks, Water, Climate

October 16, 2017

Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a $4 billion bond with a variety of provisions – from parks and outdoor access to climate adaptation and resilience – that supports the state’s thriving $92 billion outdoor recreation economy.

Officially the “California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018,” SB-5 passed the California Legislature in mid-September. Now that the governor has signed this bill, the bond is now put on the ballot where California voters will have the opportunity to approve it at the June 5, 2018, statewide primary election.

If approved by voters, some of the major investments will include the following:

  • $725 million for the creation and expansion of safe neighborhood parks in park-poor neighborhoods
  • $200 million for local park rehabilitation, creation and improvement grants to local governments
  • $218 million for restoration, preservation and protection of existing state park facilities
  • $30 million for non-motorized infrastructure development and enhancements that promote new or alternate access to parks, waterways, outdoor recreational pursuits and forested or other natural environments to encourage health-related active transportation and opportunities for Californians to reconnect with nature
  • $52 million for the acquisition, development, rehabilitation, restoration, protection and expansion of habitat
  • $175 million to fund projects that enhance and protect coastal and ocean resources
  • $443 million to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change; improve and protect coastal and rural economies, agricultural viability, wildlife corridors or habitat; develop future recreational opportunities; and enhance drought tolerance, landscape resilience and water retention

SB-5 brings together two of the main priorities of Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) – outdoor places and climate change – exemplifying that addressing both can be mutually beneficial. Additional investments in clean water, flood protection and other related measures show the strength in a comprehensive view of solutions.

As a result of the passage of SB-5 and of Governor Brown’s signing of the bill, California continues its leadership on addressing climate change; investing in parks, access and conservation measures; and supporting the outdoor recreation economy.

OIA was supportive of this legislation when it was being considered and is now calling on individual member companies to reach out and be part of the effort to get this bill across the finish line in June.

To learn more about OIA’s local recreation work, contact Cailin and to learn more about OIA’s work on climate change, contact Andrew at apappas@outdoorindustry.org.

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