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Garamendi bill to protect Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta passes House

February 28, 2019
In The News

A bill by Rep. John Garamendi, D-Solano, to preserve the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta’s cultural heritage and historical landmarks passed in Congress 363-62, according to a news release.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage Area Act, which aims to provide $10 million in federal funding over 15 years to support cultural and historical preservation as well as environmental conservation projects under a locally developed management plan, coordinated by California’s Delta Protection Commission.

The National Park Service, which administers the National Heritage Area grant program, has said that designations would not affect individual property rights or restrict land use decisions, water rights, landownership, or hunting and fishing within the designated area, per the release.

“A National Heritage Area designation will provide crucial support for the Delta, which I have called home for over 40 years,” Garamendi said in a statement. “We must safeguard this iconic working landscape and the most productive watershed in the western United States, and I am pleased that Congress has finally passed my legislation to make that possible.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, alongside co-sponsor Sen. Kamala Harris, introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate, which passed Feb. 19 and is awaiting a signature by President Donald Trump.

“I’m proud that the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will become California’s first National Heritage Area,” Feinstein said in a statement. “This was a bill I first introduced with Senator (Barbara) Boxer, and I’m pleased that with Congressman Garamendi’s help it’s finally on the cusp of becoming law. The overdue heritage designation will preserve the Delta’s rich culture and traditions and ensure it remains an economic engine for the region’s economy.”

Garamendi’s cosponsors of the bill include Reps. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton; Mark DeSaulnier, D-Walnut Creek; Mike Thompson, D-Napa; and Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento.