ITEM 13: CONSIDERATION OF AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO APPLY FOR AND ACCEPT FEDERAL FUNDS FOR CONTINUED FUNDING OF THE MORRO BAY NATIONAL ESTUARY PROGRAM
DISCUSSION: In 1995, Morro Bay was nominated by the Governor, and accepted by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), for funding through the National Estuary Program (NEP), under Section 320 of the Clean Water Act, for the purpose of preparing a comprehensive restoration and management plan for the estuary. The Morro Bay Estuary has been impacted by accelerated sedimentation and by excessive nutrients and other contaminating substances in runoff to the Bay. In 1995, U.S. EPA awarded a start-up grant of $60,851 to State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), for use by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Coast Region (CCRWQCB) in support of the Morro Bay NEP. In 1996 this grant was augmented by $133,900, which partially funds the NEP through the current federal fiscal year. (Additional NEP funding has gone to the Bay Foundation of Morro Bay, a non-profit organization.) Funding for the Morro Bay NEP is expected for two more years (federal fiscal years 1997-98 and 1998-99), but the precise level of funding and the funds distribution between SWRCB and the Bay Foundation (or other recipient) during the remaining two years have not yet been determined.
Recipients of NEP funds are responsible for providing 25 percent in matching expenditures of non-federal funds. The CCRWQCB provides this match in the form of various in-kind services, including rental of office space, telephone lines, printing, postage, and laboratory analyses. Administration of the grant is accomplished within budgeted resources by the Water Quality Planning Unit in the Division of Water Quality.
As the total Morro Bay NEP grant now stands at $194,751, and as U.S. EPA intends to continue to augment the current grant so that it will exceed $200,000, a Resolution by SWRCB is required to permit the Executive Director to apply for and accept the augmentation of this grant.
POLICY ISSUE: Should the SWRCB adopt a Resolution authorizing the Executive Director to apply for and accept federal funds, exceeding in the aggregate $200,000, to continue the Morro Bay NEP to its conclusion?
FISCAL IMPACT: Provision of in-kind matching expenditures by the CCRWQCB, and grant administration by the Division of Water Quality, will both be accommodated within budgeted resources.
RWQCB IMPACT: Yes, CCRWQCB.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: That the SWRCB approve a Resolution authorizing the Executive Director to apply for and accept funds for continuation of the Morro Bay NEP.
July 8, 1997 DRAFT
1. Morro Bay has been designated a "State Estuary" by the California Legislature, which requires that a management plan for the Estuary be prepared; and
2. Section 320 of the federal Clean Water Act establishes the National Estuary Program (NEP), for the purpose of funding development of resource conservation and management plans in selected estuaries of national interest; and
3. In 1995, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Coast Region (CCRWQCB) prepared a nomination of Morro Bay to the NEP, which State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) supported and authorized by Resolution No. 95-13, and which was approved by the Administrator of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA); and
4. The Morro Bay NEP was established in 1995 as a cooperative venture between the CCRWQCB, U.S. EPA, and other State and local agencies and interest groups, and has received NEP funding, partly through SWRCB, since that time; and
5. The Morro Bay NEP expects to receive NEP funds for two more years (federal fiscal years 1997-98 and 1998-99); and
6. Through federal Assistance Agreement No. CE999410-01, by which the CCRWQCB receives funds for the Morro Bay NEP, SWRCB has to date accepted $194,751 in NEP funds; and
7. U.S. EPA has indicated that future funds for the Morro Bay NEP will be granted through amendments to Assistance Agreement No. CE999410-01, which will thereby exceed $200,000 in the aggregate, acceptance of which sums by the Executive Director requires specific authorization by this Board; and
8. SWRCB continues to support the Morro Bay NEP effort, and wishes to see the project achieve its aims.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
The SWRCB authorizes the Executive Director to apply for and accept grants of federal funds under the NEP, which may individually or collectively exceed $200,000, for support of the Morro Bay NEP project during federal fiscal years 1997-98 and 1998-99.
The undersigned, Administrative Assistant to the Board, does hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true, and correct copy of a resolution duly and regularly adopted at a meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board held on July 17, 1997.
Administrative Assistant to the Board