The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced its selection of grants to restore and protect river and estuarine habitat for coastal salmon and steelhead trout. This year’s selection includes both traditional restoration projects as well as special projects to respond to the drought and improve fisheries habitat on private and state forestlands. With California facing one of the most severe droughts on record, Governor Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January 2014 and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages. Providing funds to support drought response projects is another way the state is leading the way to make sure California is able to cope with continued drought.
Projects approved in the full list total more than $18 million, which includes $14 million for 63 habitat restoration projects, $3.5 million for 23 drought response projects and just over $500,000 for five forestland restoration projects.
“These grants will fund important restoration projects from San Diego to Del Norte counties to help protect the state’s coastal salmon and steelhead resources,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “This year is especially noteworthy, because we are funding projects that address the impacts of this unprecedented drought, both along the coast and in the Central Valley. We are excited to work with our many partners as the restoration projects break ground this summer.”
Through CDFW’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP), coastal restoration projects are funded by the federal Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund and state bonds. Drought projects are funded by 2014 Emergency Drought Response funding, and forest projects are supported by the Forest Land Restoration Fund.
The FRGP was established in 1981 in response to rapidly declining populations of wild salmon and steelhead trout and deteriorating fish habitat in California. This competitive grant program has invested millions of dollars to support projects from sediment reduction to watershed education throughout coastal California. Contributing partners include federal and local governments, tribes, water districts, fisheries organizations, watershed restoration groups, the California Conservation Corps, AmeriCorps and private landowners.
The Proposal Solicitation Notice for next year’s FRGP grants will be available on Feb. 17, 2015.
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937
Patty Forbes, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (916) 327-8842