Board of Supervisors Adopts WCVC IRWMP
- I attended the Ventura County Board of Supervisors meeting this
morning, and was the only public comment on the adoption of the IRWMP
(Integrated Regional Watershed Management Plan)
My testimony went something like this:
We are pleased to see that government is now recognizing that
planning needs to be considered on a watershed basis. The Ventura
County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation realized this in 1994,
when we embarked on our campaign for the removal of Matilija
Dam. This project has demonstrated how all things are connected, and
how our beaches and coast are impacted by upstream development.
The IRWMP was driven by Prop 50 money. This was a good thing,
because it brought all the agencies to the table. One of the main
outcomes of the process was the need for watershed planning, and we
now have funding to undertake watershed specific plans in Ventura County.
However, there has been concern among many of the stakeholders that
the list of projects needs to be adapted as these plans are
completed. There is also concern that while money is now available
for doing projects on the rivers, many of these projects are not
For example, even as the IRWMP was being discussed, the Watershed
Protection District was creating their own list of projects, the IWPP
(Integrated Watershed Protection Plan.) These projects basically
amounted to pouring more concrete into our rivers. These projects
are not "integrated" and do not protect the watersheds.
Another example within County government, the Planning Department
continues to permit construction in the floodplains, which also has
an impact on the watersheds.
I just wanted to bring these things to your attention today as you
consider the IRWMP, and I hope that in the future the agencies can
work together to improve the conditions in our watersheds.
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