As part of the state’s 2023-24 budget process, Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, announced she has secured $1 million in funding to the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency for Arundo management and removal projects in the Santa Clara River watershed.
“We’re happy to partner with SCV Water by delivering needed funds to take proactive steps towards responsible stewardship, protecting our environment, and providing a reliable water supply for generations to come,” Schiavo, who represents the 40th State Assembly District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley and the northwest San Fernando Valley, said in a prepared statement.
“This substantial funding was made possible through a collaborative effort, stemming from our meeting with SCV Water and our subsequent tour of the invasive Arundo alongside California State Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas. With this investment, we will be able to tackle the crucial task of Arundo removal and management head-on, safeguarding our community’s water resources and preserving the beauty of our natural surroundings.”
“SCV Water is thankful for Assemblywoman Schiavo’s commitment to preserving the health of the Santa Clara River watershed,” SCV Water General Manager Matt Stone said in the release issued by Schiavo’s office. “Arundo remains a major threat to the ecological integrity of our watershed, and this funding enables the agency to mitigate the impact of this invasive species.”
Arundo is a bamboo-like Eurasian grass that can reach 30 feet in height and forms dense strands that displace the native riparian (wetlands) habitats of nearly two dozen threatened and endangered species in the Santa Clara River watershed. It also depletes groundwater supply, using approximately three to four times more water annually compared to native riparian plants.
On July 10, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a slate of bills aimed at accelerating infrastructure projects, including those aimed at protecting the environment and ensuring safe drinking water throughout the state. He also signed legislation related to the 2023-24 budget deal reached with lawmakers, which includes Assembly Bill 102 – an amendment to the Budget Act of 2023.
During the process to amend the Budget Act of 2023, advocates in Sacramento worked with Schiavo on behalf of SCV Water to include $1 million in funding for Arundo removal and management. In the budget, the funds are distributed to the state Department of Water Resources, which will then allocate the amount to SCV Water.
“SCV Water looks forward to continuing our collaboration with the Watershed-Wide Arundo Management team, advancing its mission to restore the Santa Clara River watershed through eradication of Arundo and other invasive species,” added Stone. “This funding secured by Assemblywoman Schiavo will allow for advancement of this important work.”
To learn more about removing invasive species in the Santa Clara River watershed and the Watershed-Wide Arundo Management team, visit RestoreTheSCR.com.