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San Diego River Conservancy to become permanent conservancy

Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 392 this week by Speaker Toni G. Atkins, making the San Diego River Conservancy a permanent entity. Previously, the conservancy had been scheduled to dissolve on Jan. 1, 2020.

"Over the past 13 years, the San Diego River Conservancy has time and again established its value in the region," said Atkins (D-San Diego). "It was created in 2002 and, since then, has overseen more than 100 acres of restoration along the river, construction and renovation of approximately 15 miles of public trails and acquisition of more than 200 acres of land from willing sellers. This bill extends the San Diego River Conservancy indefinitely, strengthening this resource for generations to come."

The San Diego River Conservancy has allocated $20 million in state funds for the watershed while leveraging millions more in federal, local and private funds. It will now be the ninth of the 10 existing state conservancies in California to become permanent.

"The 52-mile San Diego River is one of California's most significant historic, cultural, and natural resources," said Christine Kehoe, who authored the legislation that established the San Diego River Conservancy when she was in the Assembly. "Having a permanent River Conservancy in place will assure that the state plays an active role in expanding opportunities for the public to have greater access to this important resource."

Proposition 1, approved by voters in 2014, includes $17 million for work in the San Diego River Conservancy's watershed, with projects estimated to take five to 10 years to complete. Grantees must then be monitored for compliance with grant conditions for up to 25 years.

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