Salton Sea to get $5 million in fresh funding

SALTON SEA, Calif. -

Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez, D-Coachella, announced Thursday that an Assembly subcommittee has supported his request for two budget items to back Salton Sea restoration efforts.

The Assembly Budget Sub-Committee 3 on Resources and Transportation supports approved $2 million for the Salton Sea Funding Feasibility Study and $3 million for the Salton Sea Financial Assistance Program, according to Perez's office.

Perez said the funding study "will provide a critical and missing piece to the sea's restoration plan, and it complements the work I'm doing with AB 71 to ensure a viable restoration governance model."

"At the same time, funding a second round of the FAP enables sensible restoration projects to move forward, building habitat and controlling dust emissions in the process," Perez said.

The $2 million, which is from non-General Fund bond funds, will go toward a study to analyze state, local and federal funding that can support restoration of the sea, including money from developing local energy resources, according to Perez's office.

The $3 million will fund a second year of the assistance program administered by the Department of Water Resources and Department of Fish and Game. The program's grants support projects that "improve habitat for fish and wildlife at the Salton Sea, while also benefiting air quality by covering exposed lakebed with habitat," according to Perez's office. Last month, $3 million in grants were given to three projects by the Imperial Irrigation District, the Salton Sea Authority/Torres Martinez Tribe and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

AB 17, which also supports restoration of the Salton Sea, was passed by the Assembly last month and sent to the state Senate.

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