Washington March 28, 2017 – U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris (both D-Calif.) reintroduced the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage Area Act, a bill to establish California’s first National Heritage Area.

            “Our bill recognizes the Delta as a working landscape central to California life,” said Senator Feinstein. “Establishing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage Area would secure additional federal resources to help protect perhaps the most productive and ecologically important watershed in the United States.”

“Each year, millions of Californians enjoy boating, fishing, hunting, and viewing wildlife in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta estuary and we must do all we can to protect its rich culture and history for future generations,” said Senator Harris. “The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage Area Act will provide local communities and individuals with the resources needed to support our environmental and infrastructure needs.”

            The bill will establish the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as a National Heritage Area, to be managed by the Delta Protection Commission. It authorizes $10 million in federal assistance over 15 years to provide matching grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations. This federal grant funding will help to implement the locally developed Heritage Area management plan to promote environmental stewardship, heritage conservation, and economic development projects throughout the Delta.

The bill would have no effect on water rights, water contracts or property rights and creates no new regulatory authority or burden on local government or private citizens. The bill would also have no impact on fishing and hunting within the Heritage Area.

Congressman John Garamendi (D-Calif.) plans to reintroduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

The full text of the legislation is available here. A map of the proposed National Heritage Area is available here.