Conserving the Nature of America

News Release

$3 Million Fish and Wildlife Grants Awarded to Coastal Wetland Conservation Projects in California

January 19, 2007


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

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 $1million 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 $1 million 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 programs home page at

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

More information about U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service programs in California is available on the Internet at

Information contained in older news items may be outdated. These materials are made available as historical archival information only. Individual contacts have been replaced with general External Affairs office information. No other updates have been made to the information and we do not guarantee current accuracy or completeness.

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