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Appendix C:
Existing Laws and Programs Related to Agricultural Nonpoint Sources

Contents

About This Document

Introduction

Water Quality Issues

Management Practices for Agricultural Nonpoint Sources

Section 1: Agricultural Industry Networks

Section 2: Technical Information/Outreach

Section 3: Education and Public Relations

Section 4: Regulatory Coordination/Streamlining

Section 5: Funding Mechanisms/Incentives

Section 6: Public Lands and Rural Roads

Bibliography

Appendix A. Water Quality Protection Program Committee Members

Appendix B. TMDL Schedule for Impaired Waters in Sanctuary Watersheds.

Appendix C. Existing Laws and Programs Related to Agricultural Nonpoint Sources

Appendix D. Definitions of Acronyms

Legislation

Federal

Clean Water Act

Lead agency: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The ultimate goal of the Clean Water Act (CWA), enacted in 1972, was to "restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Nation's waters." As amended in 1987, the Act set two national water pollution control goals seeking to a) eliminate discharges of pollutants into the navigable waters of the United States; and b) attain an interim goal of water quality that provides for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and provides for water contact recreation. The programs developed to meet these goals are complex, and implementation is carried out by a mix of federal agencies, designated state agencies and local governments. The central regulatory tool of the CWA is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). All industrial and municipal point sources discharging directly into navigable waters of the United States are required to obtain a NPDES permit. Irrigation return flows and discharges from nonpoint sources are excluded from this requirement. However, nonpoint sources are addressed by the CWA in §208, which authorizes a process for states to establish comprehensive planning for point and nonpoint source pollution, and in §303(e), which requires states to establish water quality management plans for watershed basins and to provide for adequate implementation of water quality standards to control nonpoint pollution. Furthermore, §303(d) requires states to list surface waters not attaining (or not expected to attain) water quality standards after the application of Best Available Technology. The state must perform a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for all waters on the 303(d) list, which is a plan to restore those impaired waterbodies by determining the pollutants of concern and by allocating pollution control responsibilities among pollution sources in a watershed. Section 319 of the Act requires states to develop a Nonpoint Source Management Program and allocates grant funding for states to implement their program. In California, these CWA mandates are generally carried out by the Regional Water Quality Control Boards, under oversight of the State Water Resources Control Board and the U.S. EPA (see below).


Endangered Species Act

Lead agencies: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS); National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)

The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibits any person from "taking" endangered or threatened species. The federal law includes harming in its interpretation of "taking", in which "harm" includes modifying or degrading a species habitat in a way that would significantly impair the area's breeding, feeding, or sheltering capacity and result in injury to the species. The federal ESA is administered by USFWS for terrestrial habitats and inland waters, and by NMFS for coastal and marine habitats including those of anadromous fish. Components include formal and informal consultations, permitting, regulation, technical assistance, and data exchange. The federal listing of steelhead and coho salmon on the Central Coast as threatened under ESA has potential implications for farming practices which may affect steelhead/coho salmon streams.

For more information, contact:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003, (805) 644-1766.

National Marine Fisheries Service, 777 Sonoma Ave., Room 325, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, (707) 575-6050.


Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), and Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA)

Lead agencies: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)

The Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 grants states some control over activities occurring in federal waters which might negatively affect resources in the state's coastal zone. States which develop and obtain federal approval for a coastal zone management plan are granted the power to review, and potentially block, federally permitted activities beyond state waters if those activities violate the state's coastal program. CZMA was amended in 1990 to tackle nonpoint source problems in coastal waters. Section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA), administered at the national level by the US EPA and NOAA, requires states with approved Coastal Zone Management Programs to establish and implement Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Programs. In California, the development of 6217 is overseen by the State Water Resources Control Board and the California Coastal Commission (see below).


Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

Lead agencies: CA Department of Pesticide Regulation

Pesticide products must be registered federally before distribution or sale. Registration includes submission of required testing data, and evaluation and acceptance of that data by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Once a pesticide product is registered, the Act authorizes the State to regulate sale and use of the product. In California, primary authority for enforcing the federal Act has been given to the state Department of Pesticide Regulation and County Agricultural Commissioners.

For more information, contact: California Department of Pesticide Regulation, 830 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 445-4000.


State

Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act

Lead agencies: State Water Resources Control Board; Regional Water Quality Control Boards

Porter-Cologne, enacted in 1969, is California's primary water law, providing a complete regulatory framework for waste discharges to all surface and ground waters in the state. The provisions of the Act meet the water quality planning requirements of the Clean Water Act. Porter-Cologne requires the adoption of water quality control plans (Basin Plans) for surface and ground waters within each region of the state. Formulated and implemented by the Regional Boards, per State Board approval, the plans consist of three components: beneficial uses which are to be protected; water quality objectives which protect those uses; and an implementation plan which accomplishes those objectives. The central regulatory tool of Porter-Cologne, akin to NPDES and also implemented by the Regional Boards, is the Waste Discharge Requirement (WDR). While a NPDES permit regulates all point discharges of pollutants to surface waters, WDR regulates all other discharges (point and nonpoint) that could impact water quality or beneficial uses in both surface and ground waters of the state. Porter-Cologne also requires two components to the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) process under the Clean Water Act in addition to those required by the US EPA: an implementation plan, and a monitoring plan.

For more information, contact:

State Water Resources Control Board, 901 P Street, P.O. Box 2000, Sacramento, CA 95812, (916) 657-0687.

San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, 1515 Clay St. Suite 1400, Oakland, CA 94612, (510) 622-2300.

Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, 81 Higuera, Suite 200, San Luis Obispo, CA, (805) 549-3147.


California Fish and Game

The California Department of Fish and Game has several mandates which potentially affect agricultural practices and properties, and which serve, directly or indirectly, to protect water quality. These include:

  • California Endangered Species Act. The state ESA prohibits any person from "taking" endangered or threatened species, and sets forth a policy that state agencies should not approve projects that would result in the destruction or adverse modification of habitat essential to the continued existence of endangered or threatened species. The California state listing of coho salmon as endangered south of San Francisco Bay has potential implications for farming practices which may affect streams.
  • Salmon, Steelhead, Trout and Anadromous Fisheries Program Act. This program has the mandate to protect and increase naturally spawning salmon and steelhead trout through improvement of stream habitat. The program's chief activity is to identify streams where natural production can increase.
  • California Riparian Habitat Conservation Act. The purpose of this Act is to protect, preserve, and restore riparian habitats throughout the state by acquiring interests and rights in real property. This program purchases land for protection, preservation, and restoration as authorized by the Department of Fish and Game Code Section 1385-1391 and approved by the Wildlife Conservation Board.
  • Streambed Alteration Agreement - Fish and Game Code Section 1601. Under this Code section, the California Department of Fish and Game regulates activities (grading, filling, dredging) that occur in state waters (rivers, creeks, streams, and lakes). The California Department of Fish and Game reviews construction plans and issues "agreements" signed by the applicant that provide guidelines for working in state waters. The guidelines generally require implementation of best management practices to avoid adverse impacts to state waters and adjacent riparian areas.

For more information, contact: California Department of Fish and Game, 20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100, Monterey, CA 93940, (831) 649-2870.

Regulatory, Planning and/or Management Programs

State

State Nonpoint Source Management Program and CZARA Section 6217

Lead agencies: State Water Resources Control Board; California Coastal Commission

California's Nonpoint Source Management Program was approved by the SWRCB in 1988 in response to CWA Section 319 which requires states to develop Assessment Reports and Management Programs describing the State's nonpoint source problems, and to establish a program to address the problems. California's Plan consists of three tiers: voluntary implementation of management measures, regulatory-based encouragement of management measures, and issuance of Waste Discharge Requirements. Section 6217 of the 1990 Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (see above) required coastal states to establish nonpoint pollution control programs which would be approved by EPA and NOAA. In response to CZARA, California is upgrading its existing Nonpoint Source Management Program rather than creating a separate program dealing only with coastal waters. The draft program documents include management measures addressing a wide array of nonpoint sources, including agriculture and forestry, along with 5- and 15-year implementation plans.

For more information, contact:

State Water Resources Control Board, 901 P Street, P.O. Box 2000, Sacramento, CA 95812, (916) 657-0687.

California Coastal Commission, 45 Fremont Street, Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 904-5200.


California Coastal Management Program

Lead agency: California Coastal Commission

The California Coastal Management Program (CCMP) fulfills the requirements of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA, see above). The CCMP is implemented by the California Coastal Commission and the State Coastal Conservancy. The program undertakes education, enforcement, permitting, regulation, technical assistance, best management practices, and monitoring activities as authorized under the California Coastal Act. The Coastal Commission assists communities in the development of local coastal plans, public works plans, and long range development plans. The Commission issues coastal development permits and implements a statewide coastal access program. The Coastal Conservancy, created to complement the Coastal Commission in a non-regulatory manner, provides expertise, mediation, oversight and funding for numerous coastal projects.

For more information, contact:

California Coastal Commission, 45 Fremont Street, Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 904-5200.

California State Coastal Conservancy, 1330 Broadway, 11th Fl., Oakland, CA 94612, (510) 286-4088.


California Pesticide Management Plan for Water Quality

Lead agencies: California Department of Pesticide Regulation; State Water Resources Control Board.

The Pesticide Management Plan is a joint effort to protect water quality from the potential adverse effects of pesticides. The goal of the program is to prevent pesticide contamination of ground and surface waters. Plan components, which are being coordinated with the SWRCB's Nonpoint Source Management Plan, include educational outreach to growers, provisions for complying with water quality standards, ground and surface water protection measures, self-regulatory and regulatory compliance, and interagency communication and conflict resolution.

For more information, contact:

Department of Pesticide Regulation, 830 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 445-4000.

State Water Resources Control Board, 901 P Street, P.O. Box 2000, Sacramento, CA 95812, (916) 657-0687.


Regional/Local

Regional Water Quality Control Boards

The Regional Boards, overseen by the State Water Resources Control Board, implement a variety of programs and plans addressing nonpoint pollution control which include agricultural components, including:

Basin Plans

Basin Plans carry out the mandates of the state's Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act and implement the state's Nonpoint Source Management Plan. Basin Plans are regional water quality control plans prepared for specific hydrologic regions of the state. They describe beneficial uses for specific waterbodies throughout a region, and the water quality which must be maintained to allow those uses (water quality objectives). The Plans then establish implementation strategies which describe the programs, projects, and other actions necessary to achieve the water quality objectives. These factors are used as guidelines for permitting within the water body. Program components include permitting, regulation, research, monitoring, and the promotion of best management practices.

Total Maximum Daily Loads

As noted above, Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to develop a list of water bodies that do not meet water quality standards without application of additional controls. On the Central Coast these waterbodies include the Pescadero, San Lorenzo, Pajaro and Salinas watersheds. A Total Maximum Daily Load process must be developed for each of these water bodies to bring them back into compliance, with most watersheds scheduled for TMDL development within the next five years. The Regional Boards oversee development of this process which includes assessing problems, proposing implementation measures and timelines, identifying responsible parties, and developing a monitoring strategy.

Regional Toxic Hot Spot Cleanup Plan

This cleanup plan was created in association with the designation of Moss Landing Harbor and its tributary watersheds as "toxic hot spots", based on biological and chemical evidence from the Bay Protection Toxic Cleanup Program, the State Mussel Watch Program, the Toxic Substances Monitoring Program and other sources. The plan addresses nonpoint pollutants through watershed-based cleanup approach, linking to existing management control programs in the region.

For more information, contact:

Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board: 81 Higuera, Suite 200, San Luis Obispo, CA, (805) 549-3147.

San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board: 1515 Clay Street, Suite 1400, Oakland, CA 94612, (510) 622-2300.


Water Quality Protection Program for Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Lead agency: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

The Water Quality Protection Program (WQPP) for Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is an interagency effort to develop a comprehensive regional program to enhance and protect the Sanctuary's physical, chemical and biological resources. The Program implements a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by eight federal, state and local water quality agencies as part of Sanctuary designation in 1992. Twenty-seven federal, state and local agencies, public and private groups are working together with cities, harbors, businesses, and the agricultural community to address water quality and watershed issues in the 11 watershed areas that drain to the Sanctuary. These issues include regional monitoring and data sharing, urban and agricultural runoff, marinas and boating activities, wetland/riparian issues and point sources of pollution. The group also focuses on improving coordination and integration among existing programs on the Central Coast.

For more information, contact: Water Quality Protection Program, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, 299 Foam Street, Monterey, CA 93940, (831) 647-4201.


Coordinated Resource Management and Planning

Lead agency: Resource Conservation Districts

Coordinated Resources Management and Planning (CRMP) is a resource planning, problem solving, and management process that allows for direct participation of everyone concerned with natural resource management in a given planning area, usually a single small watershed or subwatershed. The program is generally sponsored by local Resource Conservation Districts and USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service. The concept underlying CRMP is that coordinating resource use results in improved resource management and minimizes conflict among land users, land owners, government agencies, and interest groups. There are several "CRMP groups" operating in different watersheds within the Sanctuary region, including Pescadero Creek, San Lorenzo, Soquel Creek, Arana Gulch, and Elkhorn Slough. These multistakeholder associations focus on such activities as road maintenance, agricultural soil management, and riparian restoration. The program promotes healthy streams, fisheries, land resources, and sustainable forests.

For more information, contact:

Resource Conservation Districts:

San Mateo County Resource Conservation District, 785 Main St. Suite C, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, (650) 726-4660.

Santa Cruz County Resource Conservation District, 5161 Soquel Dr. Suite F, Soquel, CA 95073, (831) 464-2950.

Resource Conservation District of Monterey County, 744 LaGuardia Street, Building A, Salinas, CA 93905, (831) 424-1036.

Natural Resources Conservation Service, 744 LaGuardia Street, Building A, Salinas, CA 93905, (831) 424-1036.


General Plans/Local Coastal Program/Zoning Ordinances

Lead agencies: County Planning Departments

The General Plans/Local Coastal Programs implement state planning and coastal management laws. The General Plan provides policy guidance for long-term development and resource management within the coastal counties and cities. Zoning ordinances carry out General Plan policies, and address or regulate development issues such as geologic hazards, grading, erosion control, water quality control, riparian corridor and wetlands protection, sensitive habitat protection, agricultural land preservation and protection, timber harvesting, and mining.

For more information, contact:

Monterey County Department of Planning and Building Inspection, P.O. Box 1208, Salinas, CA 93902, (831) 755-5025.

San Benito County Planning and Building Department, 3224 Southside Rd., Hollister, CA 95023, (831) 637-5313.

San Luis Obispo County Planning Department, County Government Center, San Luis Obispo, CA 93408, (805) 781-5600.

San Mateo County Department of Planning and Building, 455 County Center, 2nd Floor, Redwood City, CA 94063, (650) 363-1825.

Santa Clara County Department of Planning Inspection, 1500 Warburton St., Santa Clara, CA 95050, (408) 261-5260.

Santa Cruz County Planning Department, 701 Ocean Street, 4th Floor, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, (831) 454-2180.


Pesticide Use Enforcement Program

Lead agencies: County Agricultural Commissioners

The Pesticide Use Enforcement Program enforces state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to pesticide use, including the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The program is overseen by the state Department of Pesticide Regulation. Program components include issuance of restricted use material permits, field inspections, use reporting, investigations of environmental effects/illness, education, and registration of pest control businesses.

For more information, contact:

Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner, 1428 Abbott Street, Salinas, CA 93901, (831) 759-7325.

San Benito County Agricultural Commissioner, 3220 Southside Road, Hollister, CA 95023, (831) 637-5344.

San Luis Obispo County Agricultural Commissioner, 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, (805) 781-5910.

San Mateo County Agricultural Commissioner, P.O. Box 999, Redwood City, CA 94060, (415) 363-4700.

Santa Clara County Agricultural Commissioner, 1553 Berger Dr., Bldg. 1, San Jose, CA 95112, (408) 299-2171.

Santa Cruz County Agricultural Commissioner, 175 Westside Drive, Watsonville, CA 95076, (831) 756-8080.


Plans for individual watersheds:

A variety of plans specific to individual watersheds have been developed, often with the use of grant funding or special district fees. These include:

Pajaro Valley Basin Management Plan

Lead agency: Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency

The Pajaro Valley Basin Management Plan identifies long-term, sustainable water supply options for Pajaro Valley landowners and growers. Program components include improved irrigation practices, protecting and enhancing groundwater re-charge areas, and measures to halt salt water intrusion into groundwater supplies. The plan, which will be implemented in both Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, includes permitting and regulatory components in addition to education, technical assistance and the promotion of best management practices for water usage.

For more information, contact: Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, 145 Westridge Drive, Watsonville, CA 95073, (831) 722-9292.


Salinas Valley Water Project

Lead agency: Monterey County Water Resources Agency

Similar to the Pajaro Valley plan, the Salinas Valley Water Project provides options for protecting and enhancing long-term, sustainable water supplies for the Salinas Valley. The draft plan includes measures to capture winter (wet weather) flows and protect and enhance groundwater recharge areas to reduce seawater intrusion. Also included are measures to control nitrates in groundwater.

For more information, contact: Monterey County Water Resources Agency, P.O. Box 930, Salinas, CA 93902, (831) 755-4860.


Elkhorn Slough Wetland Management Plan

Lead agency: Monterey County Department of Planning and Building Inspection

The Elkhorn Slough Wetland Management Plan proposes recommendations, enhancement and restoration projects to address water quality problems. Components of the plan include land use controls, enforcement, technical assistance to landowners, and the promotion of best management practices. The plan is funded by the California Coastal Conservancy and Monterey County.

For more information, contact: Monterey County Department of Planning and Building Inspection, P.O. Box 1208, Salinas, CA 93902, (831) 759-6600.


Moro Cojo Wetland Enhancement Plan

Lead agency: Monterey County Department of Planning and Building Inspection

The Moro Cojo Wetland Enhancement Plan proposes to enhance fresh and brackish wetlands of Moro Cojo Slough through a multi-faceted program, which includes establishing small- to moderate-scale freshwater impoundments. Other elements of the plan include regulation, technical assistance, best management practices, research, monitoring, and data exchange activities as authorized under the North Monterey County Land Use Plan (Coastal Act) Grant Program.

For more information, contact: Monterey County Department of Planning and Building Inspection, P.O. Box 1208, Salinas, CA 93902, (831) 759-6600.


Pajaro River Watershed Water Quality Management Plan

Lead agency: Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments

This plan provides a summary of the water quality, hydrologic, biological and land use information on the Pajaro watershed. It assesses sources of nonpoint pollution, recommends management strategies for urban areas, rangeland and cropland, and outlines implementation and monitoring.

For more information, contact: AMBAG, P.O. Box 809, Marina, CA 93933, (831) 883-3750.


San Lorenzo River and Watershed Management Plan

Lead agency: Santa Cruz County Environmental Health Division

The San Lorenzo River and Watershed Management Plan was established to coordinate land use/water use management and regulations in the watershed. Program goals are to protect water quality and fishery resources of the San Lorenzo River. Management Plan components include education, technical assistance, best management practices, research, monitoring, and data exchange as authorized by the State Protected Waterway Program, County Code and the County General Plan.

For more information, contact: Santa Cruz County, Environmental Health Division, 701 Ocean Street, Room 312, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, (831) 454-2022.


Watsonville Sloughs Water Resources Management Plan

Lead agency: Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG)

The Watsonville Sloughs Water Resources Management Plan was prepared to assess water quality and make enhancement recommendations for the slough system, including measures to address urban and agricultural runoff. The plan was prepared in cooperation with the County of Santa Cruz and the City of Watsonville.

For more information, contact: AMBAG, P.O. Box 809, Marina, CA 93933, (831) 883-3750.

Technical Assistance and Incentive Programs

Federal

U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers landowners financial, technical, and educational assistance to implement conservation practices on privately owned land. Using this help, farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners apply practices that reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and enhance crop land, forest land, wetlands, grazing lands, and wildlife habitat. The following lists some of the natural resource programs managed by USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Forest Service (FS).

  • Conservation Reserve Program. This program, administered by FSA in cooperation with NRCS, encourages farmers to convert highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive acreage to vegetative cover, such as tame or native grasses, wildlife plantings, trees, filterstrips, or riparian buffers. Program components include education, technical assistance, and best management practices. Farmers receive an annual rental payment for the term of the multi-year contract. Cost-sharing is provided to establish the vegetative cover practices.
  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program. EQIP offers financial, educational, and technical help to install or implement structural, vegetative, and management practices, such as manure management systems, pest management, and erosion control, to improve and maintain the health of natural resources. Cost-sharing may pay up to 75% of the costs of certain conservation practices. EQIP works primarily in locally-identified priority areas where there are significant natural resource concerns, such as soil erosion, water quality and quantity, wildlife habitat, wetlands, and forest and grazing lands. NRCS is the lead agency, in cooperation with FSA.
  • Farmland Protection Program. The Farmland Protection Program provides funding (up to 50% of the costs of purchase) to State, local, or tribal entities to purchase conservation easements or other interests, in order to help keep productive farmland in agricultural use. Through the purchase of a conservation easement, landowners are compensated for voluntarily limiting future development on their land. Landowners retain full ownership, and retain many property rights such as the right to build in accordance with local zoning regulations and the right to farm. NRCS is the lead agency.
  • Emergency Conservation Program. The Emergency Conservation Program provides financial assistance to farmers and ranchers for the restoration of farmlands on which normal farming operations have been impeded by natural disasters. Cost-sharing is authorized for debris removal, grading and shaping of cropland, permanent fence restoration and restoring conservation structures. Land subject to frequent damage is ineligible for assistance.
  • Emergency Watershed Protection Program. The Emergency Watershed Protection Program provides technical and cost-sharing assistance to reduce threats to life and property in the wake of natural disasters. Assistance includes establishing vegetative cover; gully control; installing streambank protection devices; removing debris and sediment; and stabilizing levees, channels, and gullies.
  • Forest Stewardship Program. The Forest Stewardship Program takes a multiple-resource approach to managing nonindustrial private forest lands by bringing the expertise of State-employed foresters, biologists and private consultants to private landowners to help them prepare natural resource management plans. These plans encourage landowners to become active in planning and managing their forests.
  • Stewardship Incentive Program. The Stewardship Incentive Program provides technical and financial assistance to encourage nonindustrial private forest landowners to keep their lands and natural resources productive and healthy. Program initiatives include reforestation and afforestation; soil and water protection and improvement; riparian and wetland protection and improvement; fisheries habitat enhancement; and forest recreation enhancement. Eligible landowners must have an approved Forest Stewardship Plan and own 1,000 or fewer acres of qualifying land. FSA and the CA Department of Forestry and Fire Protection are the lead agencies.
  • Small Watershed Program. The Small Watershed Program works through local government sponsors and helps participants solve natural resource and related economic problems in a specific watershed. Project purposes include watershed protection, flood prevention, erosion and sediment control, water supply, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, wetlands creation and restoration. Both technical and financial assistance are available.
  • National Conservation Buffer Initiative. This initiative, included in the 1996 Farm Bill, was created to help landowners establish conservation buffers, which can include riparian areas along rivers, streams, and wetlands. It is a multi-year effort led by NRCS, in cooperation with other USDA agencies, including FSA, Cooperative Extension Service, and U.S. Forest Service.
  • Wetland Reserve Program. The Wetland Reserve Program provides support for initiatives to support the natural hydrology and vegetation of converted wetlands or wetlands farmed under natural conditions. Landowners participating in the Wetlands Reserve Program can enter into restoration cost-share agreements, or can establish conservation easements of either permanent or 30-year duration. Program components include education, permitting, technical assistance, and the promotion of best management practices.
  • Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program. This provides a voluntary program for developing and improving fish and wildlife habitat on private lands. Technical assistance and cost sharing is provided for up to 75% of the cost of installing improved habitat practices.

For further information about these programs, contact:

Farm Services Agency, 744 LaGuardia Street, Building A, Salinas, CA 93905, (831) 424-1036.

Natural Resources Conservation Service, 744 LaGuardia Street, Building A, Salinas, CA 93905, (831) 424-1036.

U.S. Forest Service, 406 South Mildred Ave., King City, CA 93930, (831) 385-5434.

Partners for Wildlife Program

Lead Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife

This program offers technical and cost-share assistance to landowners who wish to restore wildlife habitat, including degraded or converted wetlands, or benefit spawning grounds of anadromous fish. Restoration efforts may include but are not limited to revegetating with native plants, creating shallow water areas, or fencing riparian areas to include livestock. Assistance may range from informal advice on restoration projects, to design and funding up to 50% of implementation under a cooperative agreement with the landowner.

For more information, contact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003, (805) 644-1766

State

University of California Cooperative Extension Programs

Lead agency: University of California

The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) was developed to apply the resources of the university to local communities. It offers workshops, programs, and technical assistance to growers and ranchers on a broad range of agricultural topics, including conservation management practices. UCCE farm advisors conduct research on existing local problems, and extend that information along with other related research to local growers and ranchers. Some examples of UCCE programs include Rangeland Management Workshops, and Irrigation and Nitrate Management Workshops.

For more information, contact: UCCE Monterey County, 1432 Abbott Street, Salinas, CA 93901-4503, (831) 759-7350.


University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP)

Lead agency: University of California, Davis

SAREP provides support for scientific research and education to encourage farmers, farmworkers, and consumers in California to produce, distribute, process and consume food and fiber in a manner that is economically viable, sustains natural resources and biodiversity, and enhances the quality of life in the state's diverse communities for present and future generations.

For more information, contact: UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, (916) 754-8551.


Fertilizer Research and Education Program

Lead agency: California Department of Agriculture

The Fertilizer Research and Education Program promotes environmentally safe and agronomically sound use of fertilizers. Program components include education, technical assistance, best management practices, research, monitoring, and data exchange activities as authorized under the 1990 Amendment to the State Fertilizer Law. A chief goal of the program is to reduce groundwater nitrate contamination from fertilizer use.

For more information, contact: Department of Pesticide Regulation, 830 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 445-4000.


Community Alliance with Family Farmers Programs

Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is a membership organization which sponsors a wide array of programs, publications and educational conferences in support of sustainable agriculture. CAFF provides local growers with information on ecological farming techniques through field extension projects such as the following:

  • Biologically Integrated Orchard Systems program (BIOS). BIOS is an outreach program that provides direct, crop-specific technical support to farmers on using cover crops, beneficial insects, and other biological practices.
  • Lighthouse Farm Network. The Lighthouse Farm Network provides a forum for farmers to share information about viable methods of ecological farming. The Lighthouse Network sponsors field days and farm tours to allow growers, researchers and agricultural professionals a chance to share practical information and hands-on experience about the how-tos of biological farming practices and many other topics. The Network also sponsors monthly breakfast and lunch meetings for farmers to gather and exchange information on an informal basis.

For more information, contact: CAFF, P.O. Box 363, Davis, CA 95617, (916) 756-8518; or 1100 Western Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, (831) 457-1007.


Agricultural Pest Control Advisors

Lead agency: California Agricultural Production Consultants Association

California legislation mandates that all pest management decisions must be rendered by licensed, professional agricultural pest control advisors (PCAs). The California Agricultural Production Consultants Association (CAPCA), which supports 16 local chapters within California, provides state- accredited education programs for agricultural PCAs. Program components include education, liability insurance for PCAs, and the Plant Doctor program, which blends science, social studies and language arts into a program focusing on California farming, horticulture and the production of crops. CAPCA also promotes pest control management, and provides assistance to producers in a wide range of production concerns, including weed congestion in public waterways, pest-free greenhouses, golf courses and turf and landscape operations.

For more information, contact: CAPCA, 1608 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 443-2476.


California Riparian Habitat Conservation Program

Lead agency: California Department of Fish and Game

This program acts to protect and restore riparian habitats by funding restoration projects with a minimum cost share on the part of the landowner. Funding covers long-term protection and restoration only, and the landowner must ensure that work will be protected for a period of at least 10 years. Grants can be made to local, state, and federal government agencies, nonprofit corporations, resource conservation districts, and other special districts.

For more information, contact: Riparian Program Manager, Wildlife Conservation Board, 801 K St., Suite 806, Sacramento, CA 95814


California Forest Improvement Program

Lead Agency: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

The California Forest Improvement Program offers technical and financial assistance for practices that will improve the long-term quality of forested lands in terms of timber productivity, retention of soil cover and value for wildlife. The landowner works with a professional forester to develop a management plan, with CDF offering cost share for development of the plan and its implementation.

For more information, contact: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, P.O. Box 944246, Sacramento, CA 94244, (916) 654-5242.


Sustainable Agriculture Network and Technical Assistance

Lead agency: State Coastal Conservancy

The Sustainable Agriculture Network and Technical Assistance (SANTA) program promotes conservation tillage, crop rotation, integrated pest management and other alternatives to off-farm inputs (chemical biocides and fertilizers). Program components include technical assistance to farmers and the promotion of partnerships with local agencies and nonprofits. The program maintains a database of implementation and education grants available for sustainable agricultural projects.

For more information, contact: State Coastal Conservancy, 1330 Broadway, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612, (510) 286-1015.


State Coastal Conservancy Resource Enhancement and Agriculture Programs

The Coastal Conservancy works with public and private landowners to provide protection of wetlands and other coastal resources through voluntary programs which include purchase and management of conservation easements, provision of technical assistance, and development of watershed enhancement plans. The Conservancy can enter into agreements with private landowners to provide funding for conservation projects on easements or for projects identified in conservancy-sponsored watershed enhancement plans.

For more information, contact: California State Coastal Conservancy, 1330 Broadway, 11th Fl., Oakland, CA 94612, (510) 286-4088.

Regional/Local

Resource Conservation Districts

Resource Conservation Districts are special districts within each county, chartered under California's Public Resources Code. They provide technical assistance to landowners via support from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and other sources. They can provide advice on incentive programs suited to the landowners conditions, connect the landowner with appropriate engineering expertise, establish demonstration projects and provide an ongoing local presence to which landowners can bring questions and concerns. As noted above, many RCDs also sponsor multistakeholder Coordinated Resources and Management groups in local watersheds.

Contact: See CRMP listing above.


Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, UCSC

Lead agency: University of California, Santa Cruz

The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UCSC provides education, technical assistance, research, monitoring, data exchange, and public outreach in order to advance sustainable food and agricultural systems which are environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially responsible. A chief program goal is to demonstrate and facilitate ecological and agronomic sustainable production systems. Current projects sponsored by CASFS include a research project in Elkhorn Slough to evaluate the impact of agrochemicals, and a project (called BIORAPP&emdash;Biorational Artichoke Pest Program) to test alternative controls for artichoke plume moths.

For more information, contact: CASFS, 1156 High Street, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA 95064.


Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

Lead agency: County of Santa Cruz Planning Department

Supporting agencies: Land Trust of Santa Cruz County; Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACE) supports the acquisition of conservation easements on commercially viable agricultural land in the Pajaro Valley and the coastal terrace north of the City of Santa Cruz. The conservation easement allows the landowner to retain fee title to the property, but restricts uses of the land to agriculture. In return, the landowner benefits by a reduction in property taxes, resulting from the property being assessed at the lower agricultural "use" value, rather than at market value (which assumes development potential). Purchase of the easement stays with the deed in perpetuity.

For more information, contact: Santa Cruz County Planning Department, 701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, (831) 454-3105.


The Committee for Sustainable Agriculture Programs

The Committee for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) is a nonprofit educational organization which sponsors conferences, workshops, and farm tours to promote ecologically sound agriculture. CSA events bring together growers, researchers, advisors and industry-related businesses to exchange the latest advances in sustainable methods of farming production and marketing.

For more information, contact: Committee for Sustainable Agriculture, 406 Main Street, Suite 313, Watsonville, CA 95076, (831) 763-2111.


Joint Agencies Outreach Committee

The Joint Agencies Outreach Committee is a cooperative effort between local agricultural agencies and organizations to find joint ways of educating and assisting farmers and ranchers. The committee focuses particularly on improving assistance to minority farmers who may not have been adequately served by existing programs. The group cosponsors tours and workshops on conservation and economic issues.

For more information, contact: Sonya Hammond, UCCE, 1432 Abbott Street, Salinas, CA 93901-4503, (831) 759-7350.

Rural Development Center

The Rural Development Center provides a hands-on opportunity for growers to learn small business operations and sustainable agricultural techniques, providing extensive training and demonstration projects.

For more information, contact: Rural Development Center, 1700 Old Stage Road, Salinas, CA 93908, (831) 758-1469.

URL: http://montereybay.noaa.gov/resourcepro/reports/agactioniv_99/ag99_appc.html    Reviewed: March 05, 2014
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