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Sustainable Conservation helps California thrive by uniting people to solve the toughest challenges facing our land, air, and water. Every day, we bring together business, landowners, communities, and government, in some of the most productive yet economically disadvantaged parts of California, to steward the resources on which we all depend in ways that are just and make economic sense.

Sustainable Conservation currently drives collaborative solutions to meet the water needs of California’s environment, people, and economy for current and future generations – with particular focus on advancing sustainable groundwater management and accelerating the stewardship of natural and working lands and waterways. A sustainable water future for California that supports a thriving economy is achievable. But, a future in which nature and people have access to clean, affordable, and reliable water is possible only by working with – not against – each other.

November 2014 vs. February 2017. Photo by Robyn Carliss.
November 2014 vs. February 2017 at the Green Gulch Creek Habitat Enhancement Project. Photos by Robyn Carliss.

Accelerating Restoration Program

For more than 20 years, Sustainable Conservation’s Accelerating Restoration program has been working on regulatory and policy incentives to increase the pace and scale of habitat restoration. What makes us unique is that we work very closely with both agencies and restoration project proponents so we can help bring them together to reach common ground.

Some of our major accomplishments include developing numerous regional programmatic or ‘pre-written’ permits with Resource Conservation Districts, as well as statewide programmatic permits with NOAA and the California Coastal Commission.  These permits cover a wide variety of commonly done restoration project types with essential environmental protections laid out up front. In 2014, we sponsored the Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Act, which created an expedited process for California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) small restoration projects that is coordinated with State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards. It has since been used by CDFW to approve over 90 projects.

In addition to providing technical assistance to agencies to help coordinate and develop these complex permits, we help project proponents learn more about the new permits and how to successfully use by giving presentations, providing technical assistance to restoration proponents, and through the resources on this website.