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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

California Coastal Wetlands Projects Awarded $3 Million Fish and Wildlife Grants

Region 8, January 19, 2007
Local initiatives to restore and conserve California's coastal wetlands will get a boost from $3 million Coastal Grants.
Local initiatives to restore and conserve California's coastal wetlands will get a boost from $3 million Coastal Grants. - Photo Credit: n/a

Three coastal conservation and restoration projects in Humboldt, Marin and Ventura Counties in California will share $3 million in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Grants, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today.  The projects are among 25 projects in 14 States to receive $18.8 million this year under the National Wetlands Coastal Grant Program which provides funding to States to help conserve, restore and protect coastal wetlands.

 

In addition to the $3 million ($1 million each) the California projects are supplemented with more than $14.8 million from partners including state and local governments, private landowners and conservation groups.  Projects in California include:

 

Giacomini Wetlands Restoration

The $1 million grant will help fund restoration of 101 acres of a 556-acre coastal wetland ecosystem at the mouth of Lagunitas Creek at the southern terminus of Tomales Bay in Marin County.   The project, led by the California Coastal Conservancy, will restore wetland functions by removing levees that constrain the two-mile reach of the estuarine zone to a narrow channel and isolate the channel from its former tidal floodplain.  The project will improve water quality and provide habitat for seven federally listed species, and two State listed species, including three species of salmon and numerous species of waterfowl and shorebirds. 

 

Ormond Beach Land Acquisition

The $1million grant will help fund the California Coastal Conservancy’s acquisition of 340-acres in Ventura County, enabling an ambitious tidal wetland restoration of 800 acres.  The Ormand Beach project will significantly expand habitat for four bird, one fish, and two plant species that are listed as threatened or endangered.  A visitor and nature center are also planned to provide environmental education programs.

 

Salt River Estuary Restoration

The $1 million grant will help the California Department of Fish and Game to acquire a 400-acre dairy farm located within the Eel River Delta, considered one of the most significant estuaries along the California coast.  The delta is characterized by estuarine wetlands, freshwater and brackish marsh, and riparian and maritime forests.  The goal of the project is to reestablish tidal connectivity to historic wetlands to restore habitat for anadromous fish such as salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout, and migratory waterfowl and shorebirds.

 

Other States receiving funds from the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program include Alaska, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

 

The Fish and Wildlife Service awards the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grants to states through a competitive process.  The program is funded under provisions of the 1990 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act, with money generated from excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat and small engine fuels. 

 

Including the 2007 grants, the Service has awarded more than $182 million to states and insular areas since the program began in 1992; when the 2007 projects are complete, they will have protected, restored or enhanced more than 39,000 acres of coastal habitat.  A total of more than 235,000 acres will have been protected or restored since the grant program’s inception.

 

For more information, contact the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA  22203, or Division of Federal Assistance, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA  22203, or visit the program's home page at http://www.fws.gov/coastal/CoastalGrants/.

 

More information about U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service programs in California is available on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/cno .

 

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov