Environmental coalitions in Alameda County have experienced a major transformation in the sources of funding for their programs. In response to the state's multi-billion dollar budget crisis, the governor's budget plan proposed solutions based on recent increases to climate, resource and environmental programs. This is a huge boost in conservation funding compared to past levels, as well as a shift towards more General Fund support than before. The Environmental Protection Agency recently established the Block Grant Program for Environmental and Climate Justice, which is modeled after California's TCC program.
In most cases, the increases shown in the figure represent unprecedented levels of the General Fund for this type of program, many of which have traditionally been supported by special funds or bond funds. These programs were funded in the water and drought packages shown in Figure 10, as well as in the package of nature-based activities discussed in more detail later in this report. In addition to having information on the results, it would be beneficial for the administration to continue reporting on the implementation of the programs, including how the allocation of funds is prioritized and if any obstacles are encountered when trying to meet the objectives set by the Legislature. This has enabled the state to expand existing programs or launch new activities in some cases, while providing General Fund support for existing activities that were previously supported by other sources of funding in other cases.
Given the state's worsening budget situation, distinguishing between urgent and less urgent activities is a key factor that must be taken into account when making funding decisions. Some other programs shown in Figure 20 have received funding from the state in the past, but usually from sources other than the General Fund. In other cases, it supports the expansion of existing programs, often with greater dependence on the General Fund than in the past. In summary, while federal funding could help promote the state's coastal resilience goals, they won't be immediately available or necessarily support the types of projects included in the governor's proposed reductions. Departments are currently providing some of these funds over the coming months, which means that they are not ideal for reducing them, but others represent options that could be considered by the Legislature to identify additional solutions. It includes other environmental protection resources and programs proposed by the governor as solutions, but the administration did not classify them into packages.
The DRWR %3D package was funded in one of the drought response and water resilience packages; the CNRA %3D from the California Natural Resources Agency; the NBA %3D package was funded in the nature-based activities package; the WCB %3D from the Wildlife Conservation Board; the DWR %3D from the Department of Water Resources; and the CDFW %3D from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.