Environmental Justice, Racial Equity, and Tribal Affairs
The Water Board’s mission is strengthened by a commitment to environmental justice, racial equity, and meaningful engagement with California Native American tribes. The Central Coast Water Board is taking action to ensure that our water quality programs and decision-making address the disproportionate impacts on underrepresented communities in the most vulnerable areas. We prioritize outreach, engagement, and collaboration to maximize the opportunities for all community members to participate and provide input on water quality decisions. Please see below for more information, as well as a list of current projects relevant to underrepresented communities.
Environmental Justice calls for the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, in the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of all environmental laws, regulations, and policies that affect every community’s natural surroundings, and the places people live, work, play, and learn. At the Central Coast Water Board, environmental justice informs our priorities, frames our projects, and directs our actions.
In Water Code Section 106.3, California statutorily recognizes that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.” The human right to water extends to all Californians, including underrepresented communities in rural and urban areas.
Central Coast Water Board Resolution No. R3-2017-0004 adopts the human right to water as a core value and affirms the realization of the human right to water and protecting human health as the Central Coast Water Board's top priorities and directs staff to prioritize regulatory programs to prevent and address discharges that could threaten human health by causing or contributing to pollution or contamination of drinking water sources.
Human Right to Water Resolution:
- Resolution No. R3-2017-0004, Adopting the Human Right to Water as a Core Value and Directing Its Implementation in Central Coast Water Board Programs and Activities
The Central Coast Water Board commits to making racial equity, diversity, inclusion, and environmental justice central to our work as we implement our water quality mission so that the access we create, and the outcomes we influence, are not determined by a person’s race and the benefits are shared equitably by all people.
- Resolution No. R3-2023-0002 Condemning Racism, Xenophobia, Bigotry, And Racial Injustice and Strengthening Commitment to Racial Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Access, and Anti-Racism in the Central Coast Region
- Resolución N.º R3-2023-0002 Condenar el Racismo, la Xenofobia, el Fanatismo y la Injusticia Racial y Reforzar el Compromiso Con la Equidad Racial, la Diversidad, la Inclusión, el Acceso y el Antirracismo en la Región de la Costa Central
- State Water Board Web Page - Racial Equity Information and Resources
The Central Coast Water Board commits to improving communication, working relationships, and co-management practices with California Native American Tribes, including seeking input and consultation on the Central Coast Water Board’s programs to better protect California’s water resources. Meaningful engagement with California Native American Tribes is fundamental to the mission of the Water Boards and working with California Native American Tribes holds a special value at the Water Boards because of our parallel relationship to the people we serve and because of Tribes’ historic knowledge and experience managing California’s water resources since time immemorial.
The purpose of this Project Tracker is to increase transparency and provide opportunities for community and tribal engagement. The Project Tracker includes a list of active projects that may be of increased interest to underrepresented communities and Tribes.
Note: For more information about public participation opportunities, see the Public Notice webpage: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralcoast/public_notices/
Environmental Justice Programs and Projects in the Central Coast Region:
- Central Coast Community-Based Water Quality Grants Program
- Central Coast Drinking Water Well Testing Program
- Regional Bottled Water Program for Central Coast Households
- Region 3 Wastewater Consolidation Program
Environmental Justice Grant Programs and Financial Assistance:
- Financial Assistance (Grants and Loans) - Central Coast Water Board
- Office of Sustainable Water Solutions
- Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience (SAFER)
Environmental Justice Community Engagement and Technical Assistance:
- Community Water Center – Central Coast Office
- Rural Community Assistance Corporation
- California Rural Legal Assistance
- Central Coast Climate Justice Network
- Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy
Environmental Justice Data and Resources
Email Subscription List
To receive updates on the Water Board's Racial Equity Work, subscribe to the Racial Equity email list.
Lista de subscripción de correo electrónico
Para recibir actualizaciones, suscríbete a la lista de correo electrónico.
(Page last updated 2/12/24)
Water is a precious resource in California, and maintaining its quality is of utmost importance to safeguard the health of the public and the environment.