RIO VISTA -- Federal lawmakers are seeking to expand the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage Area -- the first in the state to receive such a designation -- by annexing dozens of acres of public lands, including a decommissioned army base.
U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, and Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, on Friday introduced legislation to expand the boundary of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage Area to include approximately 62 acres of publicly owned land in Solano County.
According to Thompson's office, he and Garamendi introduced the legislation at the request of the city of Rio Vista to expand the National Heritage Area's boundary to include the decommissioned United States Army Reserve Center, U.S. Coast Guard Station Rio Vista, Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant and Sandy Beach Park in Solano County.
Two of these parcels -- the decommissioned United States Army Reserve Center and Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant -- are owned by the city of Rio Vista.
"The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is an integral part of our community, and this bill will help to ensure that Rio Vista can benefit from federal grants for the redevelopment of the decommissioned Rio Vista Army base," Thompson said in a statement.
In March 2019, Congress enacted bicameral legislation into law designating the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as California's first National Heritage Area to provide $10 million for community-based efforts to conserve the Delta's cultural heritage, historic landmarks, and natural beauty.
The designation came as a result of an eight-year effort by Garamendi and the late Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein to get the bill through Congress.
"After representing Rio Vista for a decade in Congress, I am pleased to hand over my bill expanding the Delta National Heritage Area to make this adjacent publicly owned land eligible for federal grant funding to the city's new Congressman Mike Thompson," Garamendi said in a statement. "I will continue working with Congressman Thompson to clean up the decommissioned Rio Vista Army base and conserve the Delta, which my family has been fortunate to call home for over 40 years."
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