06.29.21 Conservationists receive another $8-million boost from state legislators for Banning Ranch acquisition

Excerpted from the Daily Pilot

By Lily Nguyen

Conservationists are now at the $72-million mark of their $97-million goal to acquire Banning Ranch, a 384-acre property at the mouth of the Santa Ana River, and turn the oil field into a public park.

The Trust for Public Land announced Monday that state legislators allocated $8 million to be put toward the purchase of the property. Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) said in a Facebook post that she was “thrilled” to have secured the allocation in this year’s upcoming state budget.

The budget is now on its way to Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign prior to the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

“Forever protecting Banning Ranch is a one-in-a-generation opportunity,” said Petrie-Norris in a prepared statement.

“This project will restore vital coastal wetlands, provide unparalleled coastal access for surrounding underserved communities and preserve this jewel for all Southern Californians to enjoy,” she said.