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Senate approves Wiggins' salmon restoration bill

US - During the Legislatures special session meeting on water issues this week, the state Senate voted 26-10 to approve Senate Bill X2 5, a measure authored by Sen. Pat Wiggins (DSanta Rosa) to secure nearly $5.3 million in state bond funds for salmon restoration.

The Senate Appropriations Committee had approved the bill earlier in the morning, according to a news release.

In November 2006, voters approved Proposition 84, which included $45 million for coastal salmon and steelhead fishery restoration. Legislators initially appropriated $10.5 million from Proposition 84 in the proposed 2007-08 state budget for the California Department of Fish and Game’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program, but the funding was eliminated by the time the final budget was approved.

The Wiggins bill seeks to appropriate a smaller amount — $5.293 million — in Proposition 84 funding for the FRGP, a collaborative effort that focuses on restoring anadromous fish habitat with the goal of ensuring the survival and protection of salmon and steelhead trout in coastal areas of California, according to Wiggins’ office. The program includes coastal salmonid monitoring.

“I thank my colleagues for their votes in support of SBX2 5,” Wiggins said. “These issues are, of course, near and dear to many people throughout the North Coast, but funding these programs will have long-term benefits for the state as a whole.

Source: EurekaReporter

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