The Proposition 84 resources continue the successful Clean Beaches Program of Propositions 13, 40 and 50. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) will administer $90 million for the purpose of matching grants for protecting beaches and coastal waters from pollution and toxic contamination. Not less than $35 million will be for grants to local public agencies to help comply with the State Water Board and Regional Water Quality Control Boards` Regional Water Boards`) discharge prohibition into those areas designated as Areas of Special Biological Significance. In addition, not less than 20% of the funds are to be made available to the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission.
The Governor’s proposed budget includes $8 million in local assistance for the Clean Beaches Grant Program in 2007/08. Approximately $1.6 million is proposed for Santa Monica Restoration Commission work in 2007-08. Funds will be used to implement the Priority Actions identified in the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Plan (Plan) that reduce pollutant loading into the Bay. The Plan identifies pollutant reduction goals, the approach for achieving the goals, and the priority actions. The Plan proposes timelines for each action within the five-year performance period.
The Clean Beaches Grant Program provides funding for projects that restore and protect the water quality and environment of coastal waters, estuaries, bays and near shore waters. Funding priority is given to projects that reduce postings and closures on California public beaches caused by bacterial contamination. The State Water Board has convened a Clean Beaches Task Force composed of a cross-section of interest groups and experts to review and make recommendations for projects. An electronic mailing list has been established for those interested in the development of the solicitation and priorities. Previously, the State Water Board committed approximately $73 million of Proposition 13 and 40 funds to 83 projects. Approximately $23 million is still available from Proposition 50. These funds are expected to be committed soon as a solicitation ended in late January.
This program is consistent with both Goals 2 and 6 of the State Water Board’s Strategic Plan adopted in November 2001. This Strategic Plan is expected to be updated in 2007; no changes in the goals are expected.
Updates on this and other State Water Board grant and loan programs may be found on the State Water Resources Control Board website.
Projects selected for funding under the Clean Beaches Grant Program are required to spend grant funds according to the approved project scope and budget. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) requires quarterly progress reports for all projects and conducts site visits during construction for each development project. Payment requests must include a certification by the grantee that each expense complies with requirements outlined in the grant agreement. Grantees must also submit supporting documentation for each expense, with reimbursements approved only for eligible expenses pursuant to program guidelines and contained within the approved project budget. The State Water Board may retain an amount equal to ten percent (10%) of the grant amount specified in the Agreement until completion of the Project.
The Clean Beaches Task Force monitors project implementation, reviews project data and effectiveness, and makes recommendations to the State Water Board regarding project performance and potential modifications.
An annual project accounting report is prepared and presented to the DOF. The DOF also performs audits on select projects. The SWRCB maintains a public-accessible website listing all current projects by program, the funding source, and timeframe for completion. The Clean Beaches Grant Program will continue to be included in this current project accounting procedure.
All projects funded via the Clean Beaches Grant Program receive a close-out site visit conducted by staff of the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) or Regional Water Quality Control Board when the project is complete. The purpose of the close-out site visit is to ensure all project components were completed according to program guidelines and the terms of the grant agreement, including project scope and budget. Grantees must submit a final report, which documents the outcomes of the project and summarizes all project data and expenditures. The State Water Board is enhancing its website to post project final reports. All grantees must comply with all current laws and regulations that apply to the project and submit documents summarizing total project costs and all additional funding sources.