This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2471, the omnibus appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2022, which includes $11.5 million in Community Project Funding for northwest California.
The Community Project Funding process allowed local partners to give recommendations on what the federal budget should prioritize. The projects we put forward address some of the most pressing needs facing our region — from climate resilience and increased affordable housing to critical infrastructure improvements and disaster preparedness. After almost a year of advocating on behalf of California’s Second District, I’m excited to say this funding is officially on its way to being signed into law.
Learn more about these projects below:
Anderson Valley Affordable Housing Initiative, Mendocino County
- The funding would be used for the Anderson Valley Housing Association (AVHA) and the Anderson Valley Health Center (AVHC) who are partnering to provide affordable housing in the Anderson Valley. AVHA and AVHC have a longstanding commitment to the health and wellbeing of the underserved population in the valley including those under 200% of poverty level and seasonal farm workers. There is a significant shortage of affordable housing in this rural valley and AVHA has over 40 individuals on a waiting list for affordable housing.
- Awarded: $400,000
Burre Dental Center Expansion, Humboldt County
- The funding would be used to expand an existing dental facility by adding 6 additional operatories and associated staff work areas. The expansion would allow for hiring two additional dentists and for the training of one additional dental resident each year, expanding capacity by 8,000 visits per year. This additional dental capacity would be focused on children’s dental health improvement.
- Awarded: $1,000,000
Ceres Disaster Preparedness for Medically Tailored Meals, Sonoma County
- The funding would be used for the Ceres Community Project, which is the sole provider of medically tailored meals (MTM) for low-income medically vulnerable patients living with chronic and acute health conditions in Marin and Sonoma counties. Eighty percent of those served are living on less than 200% of the federal poverty level, 73% are living alone, and one-third are Spanish Speaking. Sonoma and Marin counties face annual threats from planned power shut-offs and wild fires. The organization is also part of Sonoma County’s emergency food response, providing MTM for those in medical shelters and those with chronic health conditions that make them a high risk for ED visits and hospitalizations without appropriate nutrition. This project funds installation of a 160 square foot walk-in freezer able to store three weeks of medically tailored meals, and a generator to protect that meal inventory and allow our main kitchen to operate during power shut offs.
- Awarded: $100,000
Emergency Marine Mammal Field Response, Research, and Rehabilitation, Marin County
- The funding would be used for providing timely and humane responses to marine mammals that are stranded or in distress along the California coast; ensuring public safety by bringing in injured and diseased animals; advancing research; and providing high quality medical and rehabilitative care to marine mammals that are significantly impacted by vessel strikes, entanglements, and other activities. This project would protect and promote marine biodiversity and marine mammals, which are essential for thriving coastal ecosystems, as well as benefit public safety, bio-surveillance, scientific research, animal welfare, population health, and public awareness and education.
- Awarded: $500,000
E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd Gap Closure, Marin County
- The funding would be used for development of preferred project alternative, environmental review, and preparation for the construction of a bicycle/pedestrian network along Sir Francis Drake Blvd between Remillard Park in Larkspur and Andersen Dr in San Rafael. This 0.7 mile segment is the last remaining gap in an otherwise continuous nonmotorized route between several of central Marin’s most popular bike routes and the East Bay via the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
- Awarded: $700,000
Greater Farallones Kelp Recovery Program, Sonoma/Mendocino
- The funding would be used to restore bull kelp forest along the Sonoma and Mendocino coastlines within Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary through large-scale urchin removal, planting kelp, and community engagement. Since 2014, over 90% of kelp forests in northern California have disappeared; kelp forest recovery would benefit marine life, coastal communities, and groups impacted by kelp loss, including red abalone and red urchin fisheries and recreational companies dependent on this marine habitat. This project will partner with and compensate local divers to remove urchins from key sites already identified in the sanctuary, and collaborate with research and community partners to restore kelp.
- Awarded: $2,000,000
Hammond Trail Bridge Replacement Project, Humboldt County
- The funding would be used for replacing the Hammond Trail Bridge which provides an active transportation route across the Mad River between Arcata and McKinleyville, the second and third largest communities in Humboldt County. The project would provide local, regional, and statewide benefits by preserving a key link of the California Coastal Trail and U.S. Bicycle Route 95 and ensuring a non-motorized route alternative to Highway 101 between McKinleyville, Arcata, and Humboldt Bay.
- Awarded: $5,000,000
Petaluma Health Center Energy Upgrades for Emergency Response, Sonoma County
- The funding would be used for Petaluma Health Center, Inc. to offset the costs of constructing and installing carport solar panel system at the Petaluma Health Center’s parking lot and on the roof of its facility. The solar panels are projected to offset 33% percent of the clinic’s overall electricity usage and allow it to have an additional power source to provide patient care during power shut offs and/or during emergencies. As an on-site source of renewable energy, this project will avoid approximately 450 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
- Awarded: $1,600,000
Project Rebound — Humboldt County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, Humboldt County
- Once funded, Project Rebound will be a community wide effort led by the County of Humboldt (in collaboration with its partner communities and jurisdictions) to deconstruct and rebuild the county’s comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) with an eye toward creating specific, measurable, and actionable economic strategies which emphasize economic recovery, economic self-sufficiency, and economic equity.
- Awarded: $218,000