From PPIC (Public Policy Institute) – California has set an ambitious goal of protecting 30% of the state’s lands and waters by 2030. We spoke with CalTrout’s legal and policy director Redgie Collins about a promising but underutilized tool that could help protect water bodies throughout the state: The Outstanding Natural Resource Waters (ONRW) designation. As Collins says, “You can designate all the land you like, but in order to preserve any ecosystem, freshwater is critical.” Outstanding National Resource Waters are water bodies that are determined to be important to a state or region. It doesn’t necessarily mean these are undammed, pristine waters; it could be any body of water with important cultural or recreational significance. ONRW designations can protect lakes and spring-fed aquifer systems, which makes it more expansive than Wild and Scenic River designations. (more)