Photo: Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management
California’s waterways play a key role in the health of California’s varied ecosystems and communities. California’s interconnected rivers and streams, however, are threatened by over-allocation and diversions, uncontrolled pollution from urban communities and our agricultural industries, and increased stressors caused by climate change.
California Coastkeeper Alliance (CCKA) has published a set of ten Riparian Principles to increase the resilience of California’s watersheds to climate change by promoting and restoring natural functions of our rivers and streams. Together, these principles will restore and sustain healthy watersheds for people and nature now – and ensure the resilience of our watersheds for generations to come.
CCKA’s Principles take the goals and objectives of Governor Newsom’s Water Resilience Portfolio one step further by listing explicit actions that can have a beneficial and long-lasting impact on the health of California’s watersheds, and ensure a climate-resilient water future that benefits our communities and the environment. The ten Principles are:
- Address flow impairments to promote healthy rivers and ecosystems for both humans and nature.
- Allow rivers to meander by protecting floodplains.
- Prohibit livestock grazing in California waterways and within riparian buffer zones.
- Promote the biological function of California’s rivers and streams.
- Reduce nutrient inputs to protect water quality for riparian ecosystems.
- Promote healthy soils to improve water quality.
- Protect California’s headwaters and historic salmon-bearing streams through improved timber harvesting management and forest restoration.
- Deter illegal cannabis cultivation.
- Enforce existing water rights to protect public trust resources.
- Decrease water demand to improve flow in California’s rivers.
Find information and download CCKA’s Riparian Principles here.
Policy Manager Kaitlyn Kalua represents CCKA and its member Waterkeepers in state regulatory and legislative forums to advance statewide water policy.