Tag Archives: OSPR

Grant Funding Available for Oil Spill Prevention and Response Studies

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is currently accepting proposals to fund up to $200,000 in specialized oil spill-related scientific studies in marine and inland environments. Eligible studies must relate to improved oil spill prevention and response efforts, best technologies and the improved understanding of the effects of oil on state waters.

CDFW’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) operates the California Oil Spill Study and Evaluation Program (COSSEP), which fulfills a legislative mandate to provide funding to any person or entity that qualifies to contract with the state for studies in the following areas:

  • Investigation and evaluation of applied spill prevention and response technologies
  • Effects of oil and spill response on fish and wildlife habitat and water quality
  • Strategies for best achievable protection of wildlife and habitats
  • Wildlife collection and rehabilitation during a spill incident
  • Natural resource damage assessment technologies and methods

Applications must be received by Sept. 12, 2018, and award recipients will be notified in December.

Full funding for COSSEP projects comes from the Oil Spill Prevention and Administration Fund, which assesses a per-barrel fee on oil entering California refineries. No taxpayer-funded dollars are directed to this account.

The number of contracts to be awarded is not pre-determined, but the total amount budgeted for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 is approximately $200,000. There is also no specified minimum amount to be awarded.

For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/OSPR/Science/SSEP or contact CDFW Contract Analyst Heather Sironen at (916) 324-6252.


Media Contacts:
Eric Laughlin, OSPR Communications, (916) 214-3279
Heather Sironen, OSRP Grants, (916) 324-6252

Siskiyou County Receives Equipment and Training for Oil Spill Response

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) oversaw the delivery of oil spill response equipment and training for Siskiyou County first responders today. Siskiyou County is the fourth inland area awarded the spill equipment grant since OSPR expanded its preparedness activities statewide in 2014.

“For 25 years, we’ve protected the coast from oil spills. Now we want to bring the same level of protection to communities that have a long history of rail traffic and potential river impacts,” said OSPR’s Local Government Outreach and Grant Coordinator Scott Lipton. “It’s crucial that we all work together to protect these vital areas.”

Siskiyou County Environmental Health Department received the $30,000 grant that provides 1,000 feet of containment boom, absorbent materials, a mobile trailer and eight hours of training. The equipment will strengthen oil spill preparedness and response at the Upper Sacramento River.

Today’s training included a four -hour classroom instruction session, followed by four hours of on-water equipment deployment with spill response professionals.

“On behalf of Siskiyou County First Responders and the Upper Sacramento River Communities, we are grateful to OSPR and the people of the State to have been awarded this grant which will provide swift water oil response equipment and training to local personnel.  Siskiyou County is home of the head waters of the Sacramento River and its diverse habitat, we are very pleased to have these additional tools to help protect this crucial waterway.”

OSPR began offering equipment grants in 2007 and has since provided nearly $1 million to more than 40 local government agencies and tribes in California.

Equipment grants are available to any local public agency or tribe in the state. In order to be considered, agencies must be at risk of an oil spill occurring in their jurisdiction. The Response Equipment Grant Program webpage offers more information.

Media Contact:
Eric Laughlin, Public Information Officer, (916) 214-3279

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


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




State Releases Summary Report on Refugio Oil Spill

Today, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife‘s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) released a report describing and evaluating its response to the May 2015 Refugio Oil Spill in Santa Barbara.

OSPR acts as the public trustee in protecting, managing and restoring California’s wildlife and habitat, and represents the state as the On-Scene Coordinator during oil spill response efforts that include federal and local partners. The OSPR After Action Report  focuses on OSPR’s performance and lessons learned from the Refugio spill, and includes an Appendix with detailed improvement recommendations for future events.

“Refugio was a test of our office’s preparedness to immediately plug in to a unified response to a devastating oil spill crisis,” said Thomas Cullen, OSPR Administrator and State On-Scene Coordinator. “Our successful cooperation with the US Coast Guard, US Environmental Protection Agency, the County of Santa Barbara and other partner agencies allowed us to quickly assess the damage and coordinate our response and cleanup efforts.” The busiest phase of the cleanup effort included more than 1,400 responders and 22 skimmer and support vessels on the water.

Key findings from the report highlight successful operations:

  • Consistent interagency coordination between state and federal partners
  • Prompt fisheries closure and sampling to ensure safety, and a reopening of the fisheries as soon as possible
  • Regular communication with non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Tribal training and participation in monitoring and cleanup of areas of cultural concern

Suggested actions to improve future response efforts include:

  • Increase education efforts and information sharing with local governments and NGOs before spills happen
  • Plan for earlier community engagement
  • Develop an electronic shoreline assessment data management system
  • Train additional OSPR staff for Volunteer Unit positions to plan for and manage spill volunteers

Although winding down, the Refugio oil spill response is still ongoing. An evaluation of shoreline cleanup and assessment will be added as an addendum to the report following the full demobilization and closing of the response. Additionally, this report does not cover any civil or criminal investigations which are outside the scope of managing the incident.

Today, the US Coast Guard also issued the Federal On-Scene Coordinator Report reviewing its Refugio response operations under the multi-agency Unified Command.

In May 19, 2015, a buried section of a 24-inch pipeline owned and operated by Plains All American Pipeline, LLC, ruptured in a cliff above Highway 1 near Santa Barbara, releasing more than 100,000 gallons of crude oil, with a significant amount entering the Pacific Ocean at Refugio State Beach. On May 20, 2015, the Governor issued a State of Emergency for the incident. OSPR served as the State On-Scene Coordinator in the Unified Command with the U.S. Coast Guard, a Plains All American Pipeline representative, a Santa Barbara County representative and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Media Contact:
Amy Norris, OSPR Public Affairs, (916) 322-1683

Two Coastal Areas Selected for Habitat Restoration Grants

Media Contacts:
Bruce Joab, OSPR, Environmental Scientist, (916) 322-7561  
Mary Salas Fricke, OSPR Communications, (916) 327-9948

The Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) awarded $280,000 in grants for environmental enhancement projects. Recipients for 2012 are the City of Arcata’s McDaniel Slough Tidal Restoration project for $187,706 and the Central Coast’s Elkhorn Slough for $95,480.

“We received numerous project proposals to restore habitat and benefit multiple special status species,” said Scott Schaefer, OSPR Administrator (Acting) and Environmental Enhancement Committee chair. “We selected two outstanding projects and look forward to awarding more restoration grants in the future.”

OSPR administers the Environmental Enhancement Fund (EEF) and participates in the selection committee with the California Coastal Conservancy and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The purpose of the fund is to enhance marine habitats and environment along California’s coastal areas.

In addition to Schaefer, the committee includes Coastal Conservancy Executive Officer Sam Schuchat and public member Stephanie Tom Coupe. The committee selected the McDaniel Slough project for its salt marsh restoration, benefits to federal and state endangered species and more than 250 acres of coastal landscape restoration on Humboldt Bay. The Elkhorn Slough was selected for its pioneering and innovative approach in restoring native oyster habitat. Overall, the committee received 36 grant applications for restoration projects.

The grant is offered annually to nonprofit organizations, cities, counties, districts, state agencies and federal agencies. Each application is required to be an enhancement project that acquires habitat for preservation, or improves habitat quality and ecosystem function above baseline conditions. Projects are also required to be located within or immediately adjacent to California marine waters, have measurable outcomes within a predetermined timeframe and designed to acquire, restore or improve habitat or restore ecosystem function, or both, to benefit fish and wildlife.

For more information on the EEF, go to www.dfg.ca.gov/ospr/Science/EEP.aspx or e-mail to eefgrant@ospr.dfg.ca.gov.