State Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, commended a recent vote by the state Senate approving funding for projects for the Salton Sea and the Tijuana River Valley in a budget package released Friday by the legislature’s budget subcommittees, a press release announced.
The state Legislature approved $12.7 million for monitoring and pilot studies related to Salton Sea habitat restoration and $27.4 million from Proposition 28 funds to construct managed ponds to support area wildlife, according to the release.
“We have a long road ahead of us in our mission to restore the Salton Sea. Approving the funding for these critical projects is a key step in the right direction,” said Hueso. “The Salton Sea is an extremely important environmental resource of national and international significance threatening the region’s economic and public health.”
The Senate also voted to approve additional funding for the Department of Parks & Recreation in the amount of $1 million to cover the department’s annual costs of managing the Goat Canyon Sediment Basins at Border Field State Park.
The sediment basins capture polluted run-off from Mexico and protect the Tijuana Estuary — arguably Southern California’s most significant coastal wetland. The Assembly and Senate budget subcommittees had approved this funding, which was originally included in the governor’s budget proposal, and added a requirement that the department consult with other members of the Tijuana River Valley Recovery Team to see if they can find an alternative source of funding for it after the three years are up.
“I am pleased with the inclusion of these projects in the budget proposal. They result is significant improvements for some of the most treasured state parks in our district,” said Hueso. “Goat Canyon in Border Field State Park is more than a valued tourist attraction. It is a historical landmark.”
The Goat Canyon Sediment Basins are managed by State Parks and are located within Border Field State Park — an 800-acre park in the Tijuana River Valley. Border Field State Parks lies within the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, a 2,400-acre reserve in a national system of 28 estuarine research reserves operated through National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.