$87 million in government funding awarded to California urban flood mitigation

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flood mitigation
Flood mitigation -- image provided by Rebuild SoCal Partnership

More than $87 million in grant funding has been awarded to a diverse set of projects that will guard against urban flooding and deliver multiple environmental and community benefits throughout California.

The California Natural Resources Agency awarded a total of $87.6 million to 26 projects that employ a mix of traditional and green infrastructure solutions to alleviate urban flooding.

“Amidst drought, we cannot forget about California’s flood risks,” said California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot. “Climate change is driving more intense winter storms that can bring severe flooding. In response, these exemplary projects will help to protect local communities, infrastructure and natural places from worsening flood threats.”

image water pump
Submersible water pump, image provided by Rebuild SoCal Partnership

The Urban Flood Protection grant program is funded by Proposition 68, the $4 billion “Parks, Environment, and Water Bond Act” approved by voters in 2018 to provide funds for projects related to state and local parks, environmental protection, water infrastructure and flood protection.

Notable Southern California projects include:

$5 million awarded to the City of Manhattan Beach for its 28th Street Stormwater Infiltration Project — the city’s cornerstone project to capture stormwater runoff. Currently, stormwater outflowing at the beach can cause backflow and localized flooding during storm events. This project, under the city’s Enhanced Watershed Management Program, will divert and capture runoff generated within 60 percent of the city’s boundaries to prevent pollutants, trash and debris from reaching the beach and Santa Monica Bay.

“This grant aligns with the city’s sustainability initiatives and enables the City to begin the first phase of the project that will enhance beach conditions and provide multiple environmental benefits to reduce water runoff and water pollution,” said Mayor Hildy Stern.

$1.2 million awarded to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for the LA River Urban Flood Protection and Habitat Enhancement Project. The LA River is Los Angeles’ most visible stormwater infrastructure and the conduit for most of the stormwater runoff generated in the county. In partnership with California State Parks, TNC is developing a stormwater management and habitat enhancement project along the river in Northeast Los Angeles. The multi-benefit project will improve water quality, enhance habitat and biodiversity, increase public access to the river, and provide educational opportunities for visitors.

Noting that the goal of its LA River project is to “prove that nature and infrastructure don’t have to be at odds—they can reinforce one another,” TNC sees this pioneering project as a “a model for urban restoration.”

The other winning projects throughout Southern California’s counties are:

Imperial County

  • $3.9 million awarded to the City of Calipatria for its East Side Stormwater Drainage Improvement Project

Kern County

  • $3.5 million awarded to the County of Kern for the Caliente Creek Urban Flood Protection Project

Los Angeles County

  • $867,000 awarded to the City of Torrance for the Regina Alley Storm Drain Improvements
  • $858,000 awarded to Amigos de los Rios for the Emerald Necklace Monrovia Unified School District Natural Infrastructure Project

Orange County

  • $6 million awarded to The Trust for Public Land for the Banning Ranch Acquisition Project
  • $3.8 million awarded to the City of Santa Ana for its Downtown Flood Reduction and Stormwater Infiltration Project

Riverside County

  • $4.1 million awarded to the City of Indio for its Civic Center Storm Drain System Project
  • $4 million awarded to The Trust for Public Land, awarded to the Bel Air Greens Floodplain Protection Project

San Diego County

  • $6M awarded to California Trout, Inc. for the Santa Margarita River Bridge Replacement for Flood Protection

Santa Barbara County

  • $366,000 awarded to City of Carpinteria for the East Via Real Stormwater Project

Ventura County

  • $3 million awarded to The Trust for Public Land for the Ventura River Petrochem Acquisition Project

Reprinted from

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