The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) According to California census data, Lake County, among the poorest counties in
the State of California, is growing at a much slower economic rate than the majority
of the state.
(b) Based on the 2016 Lake County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, Clear
Lake, in Lake County, is one of the top two contributors to the local economy, cited
as “the cornerstone of the local visitor and recreation markets,” mainly through boating
and bass fishing tourism.
(c) Clear Lake is the oldest species-rich, warm water, natural lake in North America. The lake contributes to the surrounding ecosystems of native plants and animals,
as well as species introduced by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Clear Lake and the surrounding environment is also a home to endangered and rare
(d) Clear Lake suffers from numerous environmental hazards that negatively affect
the quality of the water and the lake's fish, including all of the following issues:
(1) The State Water Resources Control Board determined that the amount of mercury
found in the lake, caused by runoff, fails to meet environmental standards and is
in need of improvement.
(2) The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment concluded that the fish caught
in Clear Lake, specifically the bass, are not safe for women and children to eat in
abundance, or at all.
(3) The 2016 Lake County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy reports that
the overgrowth of seasonal algae, cyanobacteria, and invasive weeds, such as hydrilla,
cause a variety of health and habitat problems for the lake. The abundance of cyanobacteria blooms produce odor and surface scum, alter processed
drinking water taste, and sometimes cause toxic conditions for pets, creating a seasonal
decrease in tourism and depression in the local economy.
(e) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would
establish the Blue Ribbon Committee for the Rehabilitation of Clear Lake. The committee will spearhead activities aimed at cleaning up the lake for environmental
gains that will revitalize its regional significance so that it may once again be
used for recreational purposes, thus creating jobs and inciting new economic development.
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