California’s Parks System faced collapse last year and the picture for the coming years looks grim.
Enter Proposition 21, a statewide ballot initiative that offers hope to help ensure our 278 state parks and beaches stay up and running and our wildlife and marine resources are protected. Prop 21 establishes a stable, reliable and adequate funding source through an $18 increase in the California vehicle registration fee. These funds will be directly deposited into a State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund and can only be used for operation of state parks and protection of ocean resources and wildlife.
This new funding source will help develop, operate, manage, and monitor the new network of marine protected areas being established along California’s coastline. The protection of our rivers, lakes, streams, coastal waters and marine resources will be better achieved through the $20 million per year this new fund will accrue.
And there’s a perk for Californians: All California vehicles will receive free vehicle admission, parking and day use in the State Park System.
Persistent underfunding of the State Parks and wildlife conservation has resulted in a backlog of more than a billion dollars in needed repairs and improvements. This backlog also threatens the closure of parks throughout the state and the loss of protection for many of the state’s most important natural and cultural resources, recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat.
So if you’re a resident of the Golden State, help preserve our natural resources and wildlife for future generations by voting Yes on Prop 21 on November 2.
For more information about this measure, visit http://www.yesforstateparks.com/
Ashley Blacow is Oceana's Pacific Policy and Communications Coordinator.