On April 19, 2023, Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine) announced the introduction of (SB) 337 which would establish a statewide goal to conserve at least 30% of California’s land and coastal waters by 2030. The legislation is also known as 30×30.
“We are in the midst of a global extinction crisis, and it is time to double down before it’s too late,” said Senator Dave Min. “We must act swiftly and decisively to ensure that our iconic species, like California condors, monarch butterflies, tule elk, golden trout, sea otters, elephant seals, grey whales, redwood trees, giant sequoias, and California poppies, survive the threats posed by habitat loss.
The bill, co-sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife, passed out of the California Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and is currently in the state’s Senate Appropriations Committee.
“As a globally significant biodiversity hotspot with the highest concentration of species that can’t be found anywhere else on Earth, California has much to lose,” said Pamela Flick, California Program Director for Defenders of Wildlife. She added that 900 of the state’s species are at risk of extinction and two-thirds of plants native to California will lose most of their range within the next century.
Dr. Jun Bando, executive director of the California Native Plant Society, also said that the protection of 30% of land and coastal waters by 2030 is the bare minimum needed to avoid ecosystem collapse, safeguard biodiversity, and stabilize the planet’s climate.
Senator Min’s office said that while the Newsom Administration has shown great leadership in adopting this ambitious conservation goal in line with recommendations from the scientific community, the goal’s ending will extend long past this Governor’s term, but establishing the goal in statute will ensure it persists and remains a commitment for future administrations through 2030.
“Through the strategic conservation efforts outlined in SB 337, we can protect the places we love and the species they support for this generation and the next,” said Min said.