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Marin to spend $4M in pandemic aid on climate projects

By Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal, December 20, 2021

“[Marin] County supervisors approved $932,000 for three mitigation projects and over $3 million for six adaptation projects [using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act].

“The supervisors approved the outlay with virtually no discussion. During the public comment portion of the meeting, Bill Carney, president of Sustainable San Rafael, raised a concern.

“ ‘We should always strive to spend a dollar on mitigation for every dollar we spend on adaptation,’ Carney said.

“The project receiving the most money, over $1 million, will go toward restoring 30 acres of wetlands in the Novato Baylands. The project design incorporates so-called ‘horizontal levees’ designed for 3.5 feet of sea level rise.

“[Chris Choo, principal watershed planner for the county’s Department of Public Works,] said like the Novato tidal marsh restoration, the other five adaptation projects will plan for sea-level rise, improve flooding and create more habitat for wildlife.

“The mitigation allocations also included $360,000 to fund education and outreach with the goal of having 45 percent of the county’s passenger vehicles be zero emission vehicles by 2030, [a] goal of the [county’s] Climate Action Plan 2030.

“In another allocation, $100,000 was earmarked to help the Marin Resource Conservation District provide 20 to 40 West Marin farmers and ranchers with the technical expertise to implement carbon farming practices.

“It is estimated this level participation could result in sequestration of 250 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

“[Supervisor] Moulton-Peters added that she would like to see more collaboration with local municipalities when future planning is done.”

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