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.”
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:
$5M 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% 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.
$1.2M 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.”