FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dan Rottenstreich
November 6, 2015
More than $1.75 million Going to Plant Trees in Local Neighborhoods
SAN DIEGO – Local leaders gathered today in Logan Heights with Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to highlight more than $50 million in new funding coming to San Diego County from the California Climate Investments program. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has approved grants totaling more than $1.75 million for planting hundreds of trees and sprucing up San Diego neighborhoods such as Logan Heights, Chollas and Chula Vista.
More than $2 billion in climate investment funding statewide is being allocated to projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Funds are made possible by California’s groundbreaking climate and clean energy law, AB 32, and specifically its cap and trade program.
“California’s climate policies are delivering results for working people here in San Diego,” said Assemblymember Gonzalez. “The state’s Climate Investments program is helping to reduce climate impacts and protect our environment while bringing vital funding to San Diego for expanded transit, green neighborhoods and affordable housing.”
A significant portion of the funds allocated to San Diego are targeted to communities which have been impacted by pollution and are home to economically disadvantaged residents.
“Through AB 32’s cap and trade program, we’re able to provide unique job training and career development opportunities to local youth,” said Robert Chavez, CEO of UrbanCorps San Diego, whose members will plant numerous trees in San Diego. “Many of our students come from communities like Logan Heights, so it is particularly meaningful for us to be able to help deliver this funding to the neighborhoods that need it most.”
Lynnette Short, Regional Urban Forestry Director for CAL FIRE, says that tree planting and urban forestry play a key role in the state’s effort to combat climate change and address California’s drought. “Trees reduce carbon that builds up in the air and filter pollution and odors that reduce neighborhoods’ environmental health,” said Short. “By planting the right trees in the right locations we also can combat the state’s historic drought, by capturing more storm water runoff and replenishing groundwater.”
In addition to tree planting, the Climate Investment program is funding a wide range of projects such as improved transit, affordable housing and water conservation. In San Diego, funding is going to expand bus rapid transit in the South Bay ($11 million), build affordable housing in National City ($9.2 million) and fund San Diego Trolley improvements countywide ($31 million), among other projects.
Today’s event was organized by California Delivers, a coalition of hundreds of California businesses, public health professionals, workers, public officials, community and faith leaders, environmental groups, and individuals focused on protecting, implementing and extending the benefits of AB 32 beyond 2020. For more information, visit www.cadelivers.org.