Restoration Grant Program Draft Guidelines Now Available for Public Comment

Media Contacts:
Helen Birss, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grant Branch, (916) 653-9834
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is excited to announce the release of the Restoration Grant Program draft guidelines authorized and funded by Proposition 1 (Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014), which was passed by California voters last November. CDFW is now seeking public input on these guidelines via email, mail and a series of public meetings.

“This is an important opportunity to continue and expand upon the work we do across the state to restore habitat for fish and wildlife and protect important landscapes, while fostering partnerships and selecting the best projects through a competitive process,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham.

For CDFW, this bond act provides, in total, $285 million for ecosystem restoration projects outside the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) and $87.5 million for projects that benefit the Delta. Ecosystem restoration provides important benefits to water supply and sustainability as well as fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Ecosystem restoration is also a climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy.

The public is encouraged to review and comment on the draft guidelines which can be found both at the CDFW Grants website and the Bond Accountability website. Written comments should be emailed to the or mailed to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Restoration Grant Program
1416 Ninth St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

CDFW will hold three public meetings in March and April 2015 for the purpose of receiving comments on the draft guidelines. The meeting dates and locations will be posted on the CDFW Grants website when available.

The purpose of the guidelines is to establish the process, procedures and criteria through which CDFW will administer competitive grants for multi-benefit ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects in accordance with statewide priorities, including those in the California Water Action Plan. To achieve this, CDFW is creating two new grant programs. The Watershed Restoration Grant Program will focus on watershed restoration outside of the Delta and the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program will focus on water quality, ecosystem restoration and fish protection facilities that benefit the Delta.

Report Reveals Dramatic Changes to Delta Ecosystem

Media Contact:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Historical Investigation Helps Researchers with Restoration Planning

A recent study produced by the San Francisco Estuary Institute-Aquatic Science Center and funded by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) identifies the dramatic ecological transformation of the Delta over the past 150 years.

Developed by a group of scientists and resource managers, “A Delta Transformed” explains the relationship between specific landscape features and ecological functions, and compares historic conditions with the present. It identifies the restoration framework needed to design landscapes that will support native wildlife and hold up to the threats presented by climate change and invasive species. The complete report can be found at

“The Delta no longer functions as a delta and is now a network of deep, engineered channels with declining abundances of native wildlife, particularly fish species, and increasing numbers of invasive species,” said Carl Wilcox, CDFW Policy Advisor to the Director for the Bay-Delta. “This critical report contributes a missing dimension to Delta planning by providing a landscape-scale perspective that illustrates how restoration in the Delta should be implemented to support native habitat and species.”

Presently, the Delta estuary is in a highly altered condition and struggling. Study participants identified a variety of landscape changes in the Delta that have impacted its ecological function over the years. These primary changes include loss of connectivity among habitat, degradation of habitat quality and loss of complexity. The knowledge gained from this project will be used to identify specific elements of the landscape that can be restored to meet the needs of native species.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is part of the largest natural estuary on the west coast of North America. It is home to more than 750 native species and supplies water to more than 25 million Californians as well as 3 million acres of farmland.