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A Direct Investment in the Future of California

In the face of a changing climate, Prop 68 will address some of California’s most pressing water, park and natural resource needs.

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California is feeling the effects of climate change--from severe droughts to damaging wildfires and floods--yet the federal government is refusing to act.

In this time of uncertainty, the need for funds to safeguard our water supplies and prepare for future challenges and natural disasters is more important than ever.

What is Prop 68?

On the June ballot, Californians will have a chance to address some of our state’s most important water, park and natural resource needs. The Nature Conservancy supports Proposition 68, a $4 billion bond measure on the June statewide ballot that will invest in critical needs like clean water, safe parks, and natural resources protection.

The measure was authored by state Sen. Kevin de Leon and passed by the state legislature with strong bipartisan support. It has been more than a decade since California voters were last asked to approve a statewide bond to upgrade parks and make sure the state’s water supply is clean and protected.

The $4 billion bond measure will help to deliver on the key goals that we at the Conservancy have dedicated ourselves to advocating for.

  • + $1.7 billion to ensure clean drinking water, prepare for the next drought, clean up groundwater, capture and recycle more water, and keep toxic pollutants out of California’s rivers, lakes and streams that supply clean water
  • + $1.3 billion to create safe parks, improve parks in neighborhoods with the greatest need, repair local and state park facilities, and restore and expand access to outdoor recreation throughout California
  • + $1.1 billion to protect California’s natural resources to prevent wildfires, restore rivers, lakes, streams and natural areas, prevent toxic air pollution, address climate change, and protect our coastline to increase access to our coast and beaches
A view over the Sierra Mountains from Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park in California. Smoke and haze from a burning forest fire obscures the sun.

© Nick Hall

Continuing California’s leadership on climate change

As the bond measure was being written by state lawmakers, the Conservancy stepped up in a big way to support the passage of the bill and worked hard to ensure that funding to help the state prepare for extreme conditions and protect natural resources was a top priority.

"Clean water, protection of natural resources, and access to parks are critical quality of life issues for all Californians. Prop 68 delivers on those needs—particularly focusing on underserved areas of our communities," says Mike Sweeney, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in California.

A diverse group of organizations throughout the state join the Conservancy and stand behind Prop 68, including Governor Brown, The Trust for Public Land, California Chamber of Commerce, the Southern California Water Coalition, the American Heart Association, Association of California Water Agencies, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the American Lung Association and the League of California Cities.

The Nature Conservancy is designing a project to build natural infrastructure in and around the Los Angeles River.

© Wally Skalij

Protecting California’s natural resources for future generations

If approved by voters in June, the measure would enable the Conservancy to continue developing and advancing solutions that address the threats that a changing climate poses to our livelihoods and natural systems.

The following projects are just a few examples of the Conservancy’s work that is directly aligned with Prop 68’s critical priorities to improve climate resilience:

“Clean drinking water, including drought preparedness, groundwater cleanup, local water capture and recycling”

Birds traveling the Pacific Flyway come to California to feed, rest and winter in the state’s wetlands and forests. They carry nutrients that enrich our soils and play a vital role in the ecosystem. Today, more than 95 percent of those wetlands have disappeared, lost to farmland, urban sprawl, an overburdened water system and extreme drought. The Conservancy’s BirdReturns program uses data science to provide pop-up habitats when and where birds need it most. Learn more

“Wildfire and flood protection”

Unhealthy forests and the resulting fires threaten not only lives and communities, but also seriously degrades air quality, water quality and recreational opportunities, while releasing enormous amounts of greenhouses gases. The Conservancy drives important on-the-ground work to prevent these fires, such as forest thinning and controlled burning. Learn more

“Protection of natural areas, including funding for state conservancies, protection of rivers, lakes and streams, and funds for fish and wildlife habitat”

The L.A. River is Los Angeles’ most visible stormwater infrastructure and the conduit for most of the stormwater runoff generated in the county. As the Conservancy advances its Urban Conservation Program, we aim to use the L.A. River to prove that nature and infrastructure don’t have to be at odds—they can reinforce one another. Learn more

The Dangermond Preserve is surrounded by 100+ acres of protected coastal lands, including Vandenberg Air Force Base and Gaviota State Beach.

© Matthew Davis

“Protection for our coast”

The Dangermond Preserve at Point Conception in Santa Barbara County is the last perfect place in California with eight miles of pristine coastline and nearly 25,000 acres of grassland, oak and cypress forests, chaparral and coastal scrub. The Conservancy purchased this land with private funds so it can forever remain a beautiful landscape of untouched California. Public funding for public land and natural resource protection efforts like this will dry up if Proposition 68 is not approved by California voters. Learn More

Projects like these would directly benefit from the bond funding. They support the smart strategies California requires as we start seeing the stark effects of climate change. Under the current administration, it’s important for Californians to protect our natural resources and the way toward a resilient future.

Hero image photo from Unsplash