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Local partnership receives state grant to promote and construct ground water recharge, water quality and flood management projects in Santa Cruz County

The County and City of Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley Water District, the Resource Conservation District (RCD) and the Regional Water Management Foundation have partnered to successfully secure $2,259,773 in Proposition 84 Stormwater Grant Program funds to complete four projects that enhance groundwater recharge, reduce flooding and foster countywide cooperation in reducing polluted rain water runoff (stormwater). The partners are contributing an additional $712,310 of local in-kind match to complete the projects. This effort continues a long tradition of collaboration among organizations working together to improve water quality and water supply in Santa Cruz.

The Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County (RCD) has received a small grant from the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District to support chipping services for fuel load reduction in Santa Cruz County. The funding is meant to provide an alternative to burning for communities identified as susceptible to wildfire in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (2010). Visit the following website to determine if you’re within the designated area

Rebates of up to $800 are available on a competitive basis to reimburse landowners for chipping services. Landowners are responsible for vegetation removal to comply with the 100 foot defensible space requirement. Visit the RCD’s website for more information on creating defensible space. The “Living With Fire Guide” is an essential resource for effective clearing of vegetative fuels around your home.

Landowners who are interested in applying for chipping rebates must complete and sign this Application for Chipper Program.pdf.  Please send completed applications to:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
Attention: Alicia Moss, Program Manager
820 Bay Avenue, Suite 128
Capitola, CA 95010


Our featured project from the 2013 construction season is a dam removal on Branicforte Creek, check out the time lapse video below. Originally constructed in 1931, the initial purpose of the dam appears to have been water supply, recreation and fire protection, though it was no longer being used for these purposes. Local, State, and Federal resource agencies have been working for more than a decade to address and eliminate instream barriers to salmonid migration, such as this type of dam.

slough-pic-hydro-studyThe Watsonville Sloughs are a highly valued and unique freshwater wetland resource on the Central Coast. The Slough wetland complex has been modified significantly over the last 100 years, both in size and function. Agriculture and urban uses have encroached on wetland boundaries, portions of the system have been drained to allow farming, and urban development encircles the upper watersheds of three principal sloughs in the six slough system. There are significant draws of deep groundwater to support these activities and there are subsurface drainage structures that discharge shallow groundwater back to the sloughs.

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