Category Archives: Habitat Conservation

State Offers $200,000 in Grants to Benefit California Habitat

California’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) is accepting grant proposals for projects that enhance wildlife habitat and environmental restoration.

The funds come from OSPR’s Environmental Enhancement Fund (EEF), which originates from oil spill violations, in accordance with California’s Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act.

Multiple projects may be selected, with available funding up to $200,000; typically past grant recipients have been awarded between $50,000- $100,000. Multi-year projects are also considered.

To qualify, an environmental enhancement project must acquire habitat for preservation or improve habitat quality and ecosystem function. In addition, it must meet all of the following requirements:

  •  Be located within or immediately adjacent to waters of the state.
  • Have measurable outcomes within a predetermined timeframe.
  • Be designed to acquire, restore, or improve habitat or restore ecosystem function, or both, to benefit fish and wildlife.

“It’s great to be part of an environmental restoration program that makes a difference,” said OSPR Environmental Scientist Bruce Joab. “We’re proud that our Environmental Enhancement Fund projects have helped improve California’s habitats.”

The California Coastal Conservancy and National Fish and Wildlife Federation will join OSPR in selecting the winning recipients.

Disbursement of the grants is contingent on the availability of funds in the EEF.

Grant applications must be received by 5 p.m. on 31 August 2016. To contact the grant coordinator, email bruce.joab@wildlife.ca.gov. For more information, visit

https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/OSPR/Science/Environmental-Enhancement-Fund/About

Media Contacts:
Steve Gonzalez, OSPR, (916) 327-9948

 

 

 

CDFW Now Accepting Proposals for Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting proposals for ecosystem restoration and protection projects that fulfill the objectives of Proposition 1.

Approved by California voters in November 2014, Proposition 1 provides funds to implement the three broad objectives of the California Water Action Plan: establishing more reliable water supplies, restoring important species and habitat and creating a more resilient, sustainably managed water resources system (water supply, water quality, flood protection and environment) that can better withstand inevitable and unforeseen pressures in the coming decades.

“There is a significant demand for funding of projects that protect and restore our state’s ecosystems, as evidenced by the initial rollout of our Proposition 1 programs,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “The department is planning to continue this momentum by funding projects that complement these efforts and further address critical statewide needs.”

The FY 2016-2017 Proposal Solicitation Notice, application instructions and other information about the Restoration Grant Programs are available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/watersheds/restoration-grants.

Proposals must be submitted online at https://faast.waterboards.ca.gov. The deadline to apply is Friday, June 24, 2016 at 4 p.m.

Approved projects will contribute to the objectives of California Water Action Plan, State Wildlife Action Plan, the Delta Plan, California EcoRestore and the fulfillment of CDFW’s mission.

For Fiscal Year 2016-2017, a total of $31.4 million in Proposition 1 funds will be made available through CDFW’s two Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs. The Watershed Restoration Grant Program will fund up to $24 million in projects of statewide importance outside of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, while the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program will fund up to $7 million in projects that specifically benefit the Delta.

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Media Contacts:
Rebecca Fris, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, (916) 445-4289
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

CDFW Monitors Effect of Severe Drought on Wildlife

Stream- and Wetland-Dependent Species Most at Risk

Amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal populations that depend on freshwater marsh, streamside habitat and wet meadows are struggling most to endure the drought that has gripped California for more than four years, according to a comprehensive assessment released today by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

CDFW biologists ranked the vulnerability of the state’s terrestrial species and gave top priority for additional monitoring and assistance to 48 species. The greatest concentrations of these high-risk populations are found in Southern California coastal, mountain and valley regions, the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Mojave Desert, Central Valley and the southern Cascade mountain range.

The majority of these “Priority 1” species are found in freshwater marsh, riparian and wet meadow habitats. The species include the mountain yellow-legged frog, the giant garter snake, tricolored blackbird and the Amargosa vole.

CDFW researchers analyzed and assessed the vulnerability of more than 358 land species. Scientists then classified them into Priority I (most vulnerable) and Priority II (less vulnerable) categories. All of the species evaluated were threatened, endangered or were otherwise considered species of special concern before the drought impacted them.

CDFW also determined the San Joaquin Valley, southern Sierra Nevada, western Mojave Desert and Owens Valley areas experienced the least amount of normal average rainfall during this extended drought. As a result, wildlife in these regions struggle most finding resources to survive.

“While many species are mobile and able to deal with periods of extended drought, some are more vulnerable than others,” said CDFW Program Manager Karen Miner. “Each species plays an important role in the overall health of the ecosystem and contributes something that impacts other animals in the food chain. It’s important to recognize that the effects of extended or more frequent extreme droughts may not be immediately apparent for some species.”

CDFW is taking action to help the most vulnerable species. Funding for these projects comes from several sources including emergency drought response funds provided in the current state budget, California’s Threatened and Endangered Species tax check-off program, federal grant programs, and contributions from a number of universities and other agencies working to save these rare animals.

  • In the Sierra Nevada and Northern California mountain ranges, amphibians such as yellow-legged frogs, Yosemite toads and Cascades frogs are struggling. Some species’ tadpoles require multiple years to develop into juveniles and lack of suitable habitat has eliminated several years of breeding effort at once. Removal of non-native predatory fish from select areas as well as assistance with disease intervention, translocations and reintroductions are underway to improve their chances of long-term survival.
  • In the Mojave Desert, researchers identified the Amargosa vole as a species of great concern. Voles play an important role as a prey species and were on the verge of extinction because their habitat had dried up. Juveniles were rescued and taken into captivity to establish a breeding population. Once suitable habitat is secured or restored, the voles will be released to the wild.
  • In southern Santa Cruz and northern Monterey counties, monitoring of the endangered Santa Cruz long-toed salamander revealed that over the last three years the breeding ponds dried up before the larvae could metamorphose into juveniles that are capable of surviving out of water. CDFW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service salvaged hundreds of larvae on a property jointly managed by the two agencies. The salamanders were raised in captivity and released back at the site after restoration was completed. Follow-up monitoring is ongoing.
  • In the San Joaquin Valley, biologists are working with UC Berkeley, Humboldt State University and other organizations to save the giant kangaroo rat, a keystone species that serves as prey or provides habitat for several other listed animals. Kangaroo rats do not require direct water and get what they need from seeds. After several years without precipitation, seed availability was diminished and the population plummeted. As a result, the threatened and endangered San Joaquin kit fox is also struggling because their primary prey is disappearing. Researchers are studying population responses to food resource availability to determine how best to intervene to save these species.

California has more native species and the greatest number of endemic species than any other state in the nation with approximately 68 amphibian species, 85 reptile species, 429 bird species and 185 mammal species, many that occur nowhere else in the world. Identifying and saving at risk wildlife will secure the future for other populations in the years to come.

View the full report.

Media Contact:
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

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It’s Easier than Ever to Pre-order a Salton Sea Specialty License Plate

SaltonSeaPlate.com_hi_res04The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) just made it easier to pre-order a Salton Sea specialty license plate online using a credit card. The new online payment option at http://saltonseaplate.com/ replaces the need to fill out a hard copy and mail it in.

Funds raised from the sale of the plates help to restore the Salton Sea’s air quality, wildlife habitat and precious water.

Under the Department of Motor Vehicle’s rules regarding the issuance of specialty license plates, 7,500 specialty plates must be pre-ordered by Jan. 30, 2017, before they can be produced and distributed.

The Salton Sea is one of the world’s largest inland seas and at 227 feet below sea level, it is one of the lowest spots on earth. Once a thriving recreation area, the health of the sea is now in decline, with water level dropping and salinity rising.

However, due to its location along the most important flyway in North America, it still provides critical habitat for more than 400 species of resident and migrating birds. The sea also sustains an abundant population of tilapia, which are critical for the many fish eating birds such as pelicans and cormorants.

Funds raised from the specialty plates will support the Salton Sea Ecosystem Restoration Program, a coordinated effort among the California State Legislature, various federal, state and local agencies, stakeholders and the general public. To view current and proposed restoration projects, please visit http://www.water.ca.gov/saltonsea/.

To pre-order your Salton Sea specialty license plate, please visit http://saltonseaplate.com/ and be one of the first to Save the Sea!

Media Contact: Carol Singleton, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8962

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Wildlife Conservation Board Approves Proposition 1 Water Projects

The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) has approved the first projects to be awarded funding through the Proposition 1 California Streamflow Enhancement Program (CSFEP). At its Feb. 18 meeting, the WCB unanimously approved 24 staff-recommended projects, for a total cost of $21 million. Located in more than 11 counties, the projects will benefit diverse areas across the state

Funded by the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, the specific purpose of CSFEP is to address environmental challenges as they relate to streamflow. While improving streamflow most immediately benefits aquatic and riparian species, the environmental changes ultimately enrich peripheral plants and animals as well.

“It’s an auspicious day as we award funding for the state’s first-ever streamflow enhancement program,” WCB Chairman and California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “Proposition 1 had overwhelming support from California’s voters for these kinds of projects.

WCB expects to solicit the next round of grants during the summer of 2016. In the interim, WCB staff will offer potential applicants a workshop on crafting a successful project proposal

“Based upon the suite of projects the board approved on Feb. 18, I am excited about the future of the CSFEP,” WCB Executive Director John Donnelly said. “I am particularly pleased with the number of quality projects approved during our first round and I am looking forward to working with our partners to improve habitats statewide.”

Project descriptions and funding can be found at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/filehandler.ashx?documentid=116601.

To learn more about the WCB, please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

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John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-2420