Press Releases

Washington—U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) today introduced the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Heritage Area Act, a bill to designate the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as a National Heritage Area, California’s first.

“Covering more than 700 square miles and nearly 60 islands and boasting more than 400,000 people, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is the largest delta in the world and a critical resource for California,” said Senator Feinstein. “With a National Heritage Area designation, we can support a future for the Delta that is sustainable and bright.”

“Designating the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as a National Heritage Area will benefit the environment and the economy of the entire region,” said Senator Boxer. “I am proud to join Senator Feinstein in sponsoring this legislation, which will help us preserve the history and natural beauty of the Delta for future generations.”

The bill designates the Delta Protection Commission as the federally recognized entity to manage the National Heritage Area, consistent with state law. The bill also authorizes $10 million in federal assistance over the next 15 years to provide matching grant funding to local governments and nonprofit organizations. This funding will help implement the locally-developed Heritage Area management plan to conserve and protect the delta’s natural, historical and cultural resources.

The bill would have no effect on water rights, water contracts or property rights and creates no new regulatory authority or burden on local government or citizens. The bill would not impact fishing and hunting within the Heritage Area.

Representative John Garamendi (D-Calif.) is introducing companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The full text of the legislation can be found here. A map of the proposed heritage area can be found here.