Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Grants to Protect Coastal Wetlands in California

December 17, 2008


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

 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that two conservation projects benefiting fish and wildlife in California will be funded with $2 million from the 2009 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program.

The grants will be used to acquire, restore or enhance coastal wetlands and adjacent uplands to provide long-term conservation benefits to fish, wildlife and their habitat on 188 acres in San Diego Bay and Lower Redwood Creek in Marin County. These federal grants will be matched by partner contributions from state and local governments, private landowners and conservation groups.

"Coastal wetlands provide valuable habitat for many fish and wildlife species, help keep our oceans cleaner, and serve as buffers to protect coastal communities from storms and flooding" said Ren Lohoefener, Director of the Services California and Nevada Region. "The Coastal Wetland Grants are a vital source of funding for our many partners, who are dedicated to the restoration and conservation of Californias coastal and estuarine environments. Without the funds from the grant -- and those leveraged by our partners -- we could not hope to save these coastal areas for generations to come."

The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and funded under provisions of the 1990 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act, drawing from Sport Fish Restoration Act revenue money generated from an excise tax on fishing equipment and motorboat and small engine fuels. 

Including the 2009 grants, the Service has awarded more than $220 million to coastal states and territories since the program began in 1992. When the 2009 projects are complete, nearly 258,000 acres of habitat will have been protected, restored or enhanced. 

The California Projects funded by the 2009 grant program:

South San Diego Bay Coastal Wetland Restoration and Enhancement:
$1 million, 160 acres

Lower Redwood Creek Wetland Restoration
$1 million, 28 acres

South San Diego Bay Coastal Wetland Restoration and Enhancement:
The California Coastal Conservancy --  in partnership with the San Diego Unified Port District, San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex, the Service's Coastal Program, The Nature Conservancy and others --  proposes to restore and enhance 160 acres of coastal habitat as the first phase of a comprehensive restoration plan for south San Diego Bay. 

The project consists of three different areas within the Bay that will provide foraging, roosting, and nesting habitat for a diverse array of bird species; benefit a variety of fish species, improve water quality and implement vital recovery actions for many imperiled  species.

Lower Redwood Creek Wetland Restoration: 
This project will restore the natural function to 2,500 feet of lower Redwood Creek, and 31 acres of adjacent floodplain through the removal of a road, relocation of the channel. The project will also fund the reconfiguration of a nearby parking lot and picnic area, and pay for the planting of native vegetation. The project will also protect privately-owned wetlands in the creek's floodplain in perpetuity. Emptying at the famous recreation destination Muir Beach, Redwood Creek is one of the most natural creeks in the San Francisco Bay Area, with high natural resource values. The 38-acre project site supports a remnant population of threatened California red-legged frog and the project is designed to benefit a diverse group of fish and bird species, including 20 species with significant designations in four national bird conservation plans. Project partners include:  California Coastal Conservancy, the National Park Service, San Francisco Zen Center, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, California Department of Fish and Game, California Wildlife Conservation Board, Marin County, North American Waterfowl Committee, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the Marin Municipal Water District, San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, and the Riparian Habitat Joint Venture.

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.

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