Tag Archives: partnership

CDFW Climate Change Expert Honored for Innovation

Dr. Amber Pairis, director of the Climate Science Alliance-South Coast, recently received the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Climate Adaption Leadership Award for Natural Resources. The award recognized her inventive approaches to preparing Southern California for the effects of climate change.

The Climate Science Alliance is a partnership between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative with more than 140 partner agencies and organizations. Its mission is to increase resilience to climate change among the natural and human communities of the South Coast Eco-region through community-focused activities and partnerships.

“Today we recognize individuals and agencies who are developing and using innovative methods to safeguard the nation’s living natural resources from a rapidly changing world,” said Kevin Hunting, chief deputy director of CDFW and co‐chair of the Joint Implementation Working Group of the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy. “Their leadership is a source of inspiration for additional efforts to advance climate‐smart resource conservation and management with lasting positive impacts on the nation’s communities and economy.”

Recipients were selected from 27 nominations representing activities from individuals and federal, tribal, state, local and non‐governmental organizations throughout the country. Dr. Pairis’ nomination was submitted by the Pala Band of Mission Indians.

Dr. Pairis has worked on climate change issues since 2005. In 2013, Governor Brown appointed her assistant secretary for climate change at the California Natural Resources Agency to coordinate the state’s nature-based climate adaptation activities. Previously, as senior climate change advisor for CDFW she created the Climate Science Program, CDFW Climate College, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Climate Committee, and supported development of the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy.

The San Diego native earned her doctorate in environmental studies with an emphasis on conservation biology at Antioch University New England.

California’s natural resources provide important benefits and services to Americans every day, including jobs, income, food, clean water and air, building materials, storm protection, tourism and recreation. For example, outdoor wildlife‐related recreation contributes an estimated $7.5 billion to our state’s economy every year, and marine ecosystems sustain a seafood industry that supports more than 130,000 jobs and $23.4 billion in economic activity annually.

Information about CDFW’s Climate Science Program is at https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Climate-Science.

For more information about the 2017 Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards for Natural Resources, including the eight recipients, honorable mentions, and all 27 nominees, please visit the Climate Adaptation Leadership Award main page.

A woman gestures enthusiastically with seven children at a classroom table
Amber Pairis teaches kids about climate change

Media Contacts:
Dr. Amber Pairis, Climate Science Alliance-South Coast, (916) 205-9478
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

Landowners, Grape Growers, Government and Others Partner to Protect Juvenile Coho

State representatives will recognize landowners, grape growers, agencies and environmental groups for their part in the development of voluntary programs to save water and protect local fish species in the Russian River watershed during the drought. The recognition will take place at a press conference on Friday, Oct. 2 at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Santa Rosa.

Voluntary agreements were developed in partnership with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the National Marine Fisheries Service to provide water to protect coho salmon. Some agreements detail water conservation efforts and others outline flow releases during critical times for the migrating fish. There are currently 41 Voluntary Drought Initiative agreements signed with vineyard and rural landowners within the Russian River watershed.

“It’s a very tough year to be a fish,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “This drought is unprecedented. But when responsible members of the community collaborate, the solutions can be remarkable. The partnerships we’re acknowledging today may help save coho.”

In mid-June the State Water Resources Control Board adopted an Enhanced Conservation Regulation requiring all users in critical stretches of Mark West, Green Valley, Dutch Bill and Mill creeks – which flow to the Russian River — to reduce water use wherever possible, especially on lawns and ornamental landscapes. The requirement also prohibited certain discretionary uses of potable and non-potable water in commercial agriculture.

Following that mandate, a group of grape growers worked with CDFW to develop the additional Voluntary Drought Initiative that, in conjunction with farmers in the critical stretches of the four creeks, aims to reduce water use by 25 percent. They also developed a reporting program that will track their progress toward that goal.

“This effort demonstrates what I think is the most important fundamental fact about the drought – we’re all in this together,” said Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. “The commitment of grape growers to keep water in the streams when fish most need it demonstrates that agriculture understands this fact and is part of the solution.”

In one agreement, Jackson Family Wines will release 7.2 acre-feet of water from a vineyard reservoir into Green Valley Creek through December 2015. Water release agreements will improve conditions in that tributary, improving the odds of survival for juvenile coho spending the summer in the stream.

In addition to the water release, Jackson Family Wines contributed $20,000 in seed money to assist Trout Unlimited in establishing a program for the purchase of residential tanks for rainwater collection. This program will help minimize the need for people living near the stream to draw upon it for water.

“My family operates with a 500-year vision to do all we can to help enhance and restore habitat for endangered species,” said Katie Jackson, Vice President of External Affairs and Sustainability and daughter of company founder Jess Jackson. “We believe that collaboration with resource agencies, as well as other wine grape growers, is incredibly important for habitat conservation.”

This year juvenile coho salmon face the daunting challenge of surviving the fourth year of one of the most severe droughts in recorded California history. CDFW has asked landowners to participate in voluntary agreements to help ensure enough water remains in streams. Partnerships with landowners for habitat have been key to the state’s efforts to conserve fish and wildlife resources.

For more information on Jackson Family Wines, please visit www.jacksonfamilywines.com.

For more information on CDFW efforts to protect and preserve fish and wildlife through this drought, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/drought.

To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit drought.ca.gov.

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at saveourwater.com.

Conservation – the wise, sparing use of water – remains California’s most reliable drought management tool. Each individual act of conservation, such as letting the lawn go brown or replacing a washer in a faucet to stop a leak, makes a difference over time.


Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Galen McCorkle, Jackson Family Wines, (707) 529-5169