Good Week / Great Week
GREAT WEEK: On Tuesday, Nov. 16, the state Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program board awarded three grants, totaling $9.86 million, for Ag Land Trust to acquire three separate properties in and around the triangle of farmland between Castroville, Marina and Salinas. In the agency's project summary of the respective grant applications, the expected public benefits for each are very much the same: It will preserve the agricultural use of the properties in perpetuity, it will protect the viewshed along Highway 156 and it will lock in urban growth boundaries to encourage more infill, among other things. Ag Land Trust's interim executive director, Marc Del Piero, says the nonprofit is "ecstatic" about the outcome. "Not only are we going to preserve a huge amount of farmland in North County, we're also preserving southern steelhead habitat along the Salinas River, and otter habitat along the old Salinas River channel."