San Diego River Conservancy Bill signed by governor

provided by Christine Kehoe

B 2156, Assemblymember Chris tine Kehoe's measure to establish the San Diego River Conservancy, was signed into law by Governor Gray Davis. The state conservancy will develop a master plan to conserve, restore and enhance the river for habitat, recreation, and flood control.

    “The San Diego River has long been a neglected natural resource in our city,” said Assemblymember Kehoe (D-San Diego). “A San Diego River Conservancy gives the river a formal structure making it eligible for state funds. Its members would then have the resources to ensure its preservation and restoration, making it a viable recreational resource for San Diegans.”

    “One day the river can be to San Diego what the Potomac River is to Washington, D.C. or the Hudson River is to New York City,” Kehoe added.

    Conservancies have been created statewide to protect various natural resources, including Lake Tahoe, the Santa Monica Mountains, and California's coast. By bringing statewide attention and resources to the effort, these conservancies have been successful in protecting these vital natural resources.

    Governor Davis opened the ceremony by announcing the allocation of $12 million from Proposition 13 and 40 funds to help restore the waterway.

    “We're giving the San Diego River the attention only a local entity knows how to deliver and backing it up with the support only the state can provide,” said Gov. Davis. “This action isn't just good for the San Diego River. It's good for San Diego families. It's good for the San Diego economy. And best of all, it's good for our environment.”

    Joining Governor Davis and Assemblymember Kehoe to show support were Mayor Murphy, Congresswoman Susan Davis, San Diego Councilmembers Toni Atkins, Donna Frye and Jim Madaffer, and Santee councilmember Jim Bartell.

    “One of my ten goals to make San Diego a city worthy of our affection is to preserve our canyons, hillsides, and rivers for future generations,” said Dick Murphy, Mayor of San Diego. “That vision includes preserving and restoring the San Diego River from its headwaters near Julian to the Pacific Ocean.”

    “Creation of the San Diego River Conservancy will make this project a priority and provide needed financial resources,” Murphy added. “The people of San Diego sincerely appreciate the effort of Assemblymember Christine Kehoe, and Senator Dede Alpert in making the San Diego River Conservancy a reality.”