Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region
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Coastal Program
Arcata Conservation Partnerships Program

Coastal Program LogoThe mission of The Coastal Program at Humboldt Bay is to conserve coastal ecosystems for the benefit of fish, wildlife, and coastal communities. The mission is accomplished through community-based partnerships focused on restoration and protection of native coastal habitats from the California-Oregon border to the Mattole River. The Humboldt Bay coastal region was one of two new priority areas selected nationally in 2005 by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to receive funds. Currently there are 22 priority coastal ecosystems in the United States identified by the Service to receive these funds. The Coastal Program at Humboldt Bay provides financial and technical assistance for a variety restoration and conservation work. Restoration staff in the Conservation Partnerships (CP) Program at the Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office work closely with local partners to identify, develop, and implement projects that meet Coastal Program goals.

    Coastal Program Goals :

  • Restore and protect coastal habitats through collaborative projects; restoration staff provide technical assistance; and provide cost share and in-kind contributions where appropriate
  • Develop regional or estuary-wide partnership strategies to restore, enhance and protect coastal habitats
  • Work with partners to identify high-priority restoration projects using the best available scientific information
  • Use an ecosystem and landscape level approach to restoration and enhancement of habitats
  • Promote natural, self-sustaining populations of native species within their historic ranges
  • Provide a catalyst for outreach and education to further public awareness of natural resources in coastal areas
  • Provide support for assessment and monitoring efforts that address critical natural resource issues
  • Assist partners with applying for other Service funding programs including the National Coastal Wetlands Grants Program, the North American Waterfowl Conservation Act Program, Private Stewardship Grants and others.

Coastal Program Projects :

The Coastal Program supports projects on private, public, and tribal lands. Voluntary partnerships are the foundation of the program. These partnerships are formed with private landowners, conservation groups, citizen volunteers, Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments, academic institutions, industries, and businesses.

Project Types:

  • Removing invasive plant species to restore functional native coastal habitats
  • Restoring stream habitats by removing barriers to fish passage; installing in-stream habitat structures; improving long-term stream bank stability with bio-engineered structures; and improving channel morphology and hydrology
  • Restoring coastal riparian and wetland habitats
  • Assessment and monitoring efforts focused on answering key questions regarding stream, wetland and estuary function, and fish and wildlife use of coastal habitats
  • Developing and implementing of restoration plans to improve estuaries, streams, wetlands and dune ecosystems
  • Developing and implementing education and outreach programs focused on improving community understanding of coastal resources
  • Assisting with local efforts to protect coastal habitats.
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Eligibility Information:

    1. Federal, State, Tribal, local government and private lands are eligible for financial and technical assistance. Those interested in the program may include private landowners, tribes, public agencies, community organizations, and businesses
    2. Coastal Program funding is generally limited to a maximum of $25,000 per project, but greater amounts may be considered in certain circumstances

    3. Funds cannot be used to fund mitigation efforts

    4. The landowner agrees to retain restoration/enhancement improvements for a minimum of 10 years (but otherwise retains full property rights, including right of trespass). Longer time commitments are always encouraged

    5. Cost-share funds or in-kind contributions are required. A component of the cost-share funds must be from non-federal sources. The total cost share amount should be as close to 50% or greater of the total project cost.

The Assistance Process:

    1. Contact our Restoration staff to discuss project ideas and determine program eligibility. After initial discussions and site visits, restoration staff will determine project feasablitliy and whether the project is a good fit for the program.

    2. If it is determined the project can be supported, then we will work with the partners to determine the most appropriate habitat improvements, provide advice on assessment, monitoring and study design, or other applicable technical assistance. Once project details have been agreed upon, we will work with the partners to develop a comprehensive Project Work Plan which will include a project design, a work schedule and a budget.
    3. Funding selection will generally be made by May of each year. However, we develop projects year-round, AND funding is limited and discretionary, so don’t wait until the last minute to approach us with project ideas.

The Funding and Agreement Process:

After a project is approved for funding, the Recipient must work with our Restoration staff to complete the following in a timely matter:

    1. Cooperative Agreement:

      Program funding is provided to the Recipient through a Cooperative Agreement signed by the Service and the Recipient. This agreement outlines the obligations of each party, terms and conditions, identifies specific project sites and activities, and details reporting requirements and payment procedures. The Service writes the Cooperative Agreement and the applicant reviews and signs it in a timely manner.

    2. Wildlife Extension Agreement (Landowner Agreement):

      Each participating landowner is required to sign a Wildlife Extension Agreement. The agreement specifies the cost-share and responsibilities of both the landowner and the Service. Under the agreement, the landowner agrees to retain the restoration project for a minimum of 10 years but otherwise retains full private property rights.

    3. Permit Process:

      Prior to the start of the project, the Service is required to ensure that all applicable regulatory requirements have been met. The full permitting process usually takes several months to complete. The Service will provide assistance with completing the appropriate paperwork if needed. Once all the permits have been obtained, the Service authorizes the work to begin. Notification is in the form of a letter.

For More Information Contact:

Paula Golightly:
Habitat Restoration Supervisor
Conservation Partnerships Program
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office
1655 Heindon Road
Arcata, CA 95521

Phone: 707.822.7201
Fax: 707.822.8411

Coastal Project Site Review, Photo Credit: AFWO Restoration Program
Photo Credit: AFWO Restoration Program

Links for partners or partnerships we are involved with:

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Last updated: April 12, 2011