Coastal Conservancy Awarded $1.1 Million for Enhancement of Humboldt Bay’s Martin Slough from California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Further $17.7 Million awarded to Conservancy partners for coastal ecosystem and watershed restoration and protection projects

Martin Slough

Martin Slough

Oakland, CA – Today, the California State Coastal Conservancy was awarded a grant of $1.1 million from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for the enhancement of Martin Slough in Humboldt Bay.  A further $17.7 million was granted to projects supported by the Conservancy for ecosystem restoration and protection in California’s coastal watersheds.  The funding comes from CDFW’s Proposition 1 and Proposition 68 grant programs.

CDFW allocated the funding following competitive grant rounds for multi-benefit ecosystem restoration and protection projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and watersheds statewide.

“These projects are urgent and they are important.” said Mary Small, Deputy Executive Officer of the Coastal Conservancy. “CDFW has selected projects throughout the state that will have a tremendous impact on the health of our watershed ecosystems. The voters of California passed Prop 68 less than a year ago and that money is being put to good work today.”

The Coastal Conservancy’s grant of $1,106,982 will be used for the enhancement of Martin Slough in Humboldt Bay.  The project will restore wetlands, enhance water quality, and improve fish and wildlife habitat in and adjacent to Martin Slough, while reducing flooding of the adjacent agricultural and recreational lands.

Martin Slough was historically an important tributary to the Elk River, which drains to Humboldt Bay, and provided substantial anadromous fish habitat and other aquatic and riparian values.  The Martin Slough watershed covers approximately 5.4 square miles, with a natural channel length of over 10 miles and approximately 7.5 miles of potential salmonid fish habitat supporting coho salmon and cutthroat trout.

An additional $17.7 million in CDFW grants will go to 8 projects lead by Conservancy partners:

  • Santa Ana Bridge Replacement – a Component of the Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project ($13,426,938 to Ventura County Watershed Protection District)
  • Big Canyon Habitat Restoration and Adaptation Project, Phase II ($1,196,444 to Newport Bay Conservancy)
  • Lagunitas Creek Floodplain Restoration for Coho Recovery, Phase II ($593,040 to Salmon Protection and Watershed Network)
  • Harvey Diversion Fish Passage Restoration 100% Designs ($1,019,271 to California Trout)
  • Wildlife Corridor at Liberty Canyon ($400,000 to National Wildlife Federation)
  • Elk Creek Restoration Feasibility Study ($347,204 to Smith River Alliance)
  • Scott Creek Lagoon and Marsh Restoration ($237,690 to Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission)
  • Restoration planning at the Sespe Cienega in Fillmore ($237,570 to Santa Clara River Conservancy)
  • Advancing Restoration Strategies for Hydrologic Connectivity in Williams Creek ($268,862 to Humboldt County Resource Conservation District)

“These grant awards put significant new financial resources behind some of the most critical coastal wetland restoration projects in the state,” Small continued, “We are working against the clock to complete projects in the face of rising seas and a changing climate; CDFW funding will allow our project partners to move forward quickly with planning and implementation work.”

“This year represents new opportunities for important projects getting off the ground, including long-planned efforts to support recovery of critical species and respond to new ecological challenges,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “We look forward to continuing statewide restoration and protection efforts of our state’s watersheds.”

 

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Notes to Editors:

  • A total of $48.5 million was awarded by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for 38 for multi-benefit ecosystem restoration and protection projects under its Proposition 1 and Proposition 68 grant programs.
  • CDFW participated in a joint solicitation in 2018 with the Delta Science Program and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for scientific studies projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Through this effort, CDFW awarded 11 projects a total of $7.3 million through its Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Proposition 1 Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program.
  • CDFW conducted a second solicitation in 2018 with funding available from both Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Proposition 1 and Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Proposition 68 funding, resulting in the award of $41.2 million to 27 projects statewide, outside of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Of the $41.2 million, approximately $23.9 million was awarded through the Proposition 1 Watershed Restoration Grant Program. Approximately $17.3 million was awarded through the Proposition 68 grant program which includes three separate focuses: Rivers and Streams, Southern California Steelhead and Habitat Improvement Projects.
  • The awarded projects represent priorities outlined in the two solicitations, as well as the California Water Action Plan, State Wildlife Action Plan, Sacramento Valley Salmon Resiliency Strategy, Delta Plan, California EcoRestore, Safeguarding California Plan, the California Biodiversity Initiative and the fulfillment of CDFW’s mission. This year marks CDFW’s first allocation of Proposition 68 funding and the fifth of 10 planned annual allocations of Proposition 1 funding.

Projects approved for funding through the Proposition 1 Watershed Restoration Grant Program and Proposition 68 grant programs include:

Acquisition Projects:

  • Van Arken Community Forest Project ($1,861,312 to Sanctuary Forest)
  • Scott Ranch Acquisition, Napa County ($1,000,000 to Land Trust of Napa County)
  • Acquisition and Monitoring Program for Critical Fish and Wildlife Habitat in and Around the Angelo Coast Range Reserve, Upper South Fork Eel River ($806,022 to Angelo Coast Range Reserve, University of California, Berkeley)
  • Arcata Community Forest (Jacoby Creek Tract) Expansion – Swaner 114 acres ($760,300 to City of Arcata)
  • Sierra Valley Mountain Meadow Conservation Project ($648,077 to Feather River Land Trust)
  • Mendocino Pygmy Forest Protection Project ($347,843 to Mendocino Land Trust)

 

Implementation Projects:

  • Santa Ana Bridge Replacement – a Component of the Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project ($13,426,938 to Ventura County Watershed Protection District)
  • Rim Fire Watershed Health Improvement Project ($3,641,211 to Tuolumne River Trust)
  • Oroville Wildlife Area Flood Stage Reduction and Restoration Project ($3,139,136 to Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency)
  • Hotelling Gulch Aquatic Restoration ($2,038,942 to Salmon River Restoration Council)
  • Oroville Wildlife Area Flood Stage Reduction and Restoration Project – New Vegetation Plantings ($1,716,847 to Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency)
  • Jameson Creek Fish Passage Improvement and Restoration Project ($1,704,990 to City of Fortuna)
  • Big Canyon Habitat Restoration and Adaptation Project, Phase II ($1,196,444 to Newport Bay Conservancy)
  • Martin Slough Enhancement ($1,106,982 to California State Coastal Conservancy)
  • Post-Fire Restoration of Coast Range Headwaters for Multiple Benefits at Pepperwood Preserve ($838,135 to Pepperwood Foundation)
  • Lagunitas Creek Floodplain Restoration for Coho Recovery, Phase II ($593,040 to Salmon Protection and Watershed Network)

 

Planning Projects:

  • Bellota Fish Screen and Passage Improvement Project ($1,952,559 to Stockton East Water District)
  • Harvey Diversion Fish Passage Restoration 100% Designs ($1,019,271 to California Trout)
  • Cannibal Island Restoration Intermediate Designs ($802,886 to California Trout)
    Lower San Luis Obispo Creek Fish Passage Design and Habitat Improvement Project ($459,798 to Central Coast Salmon Enhancement)
  • Wildlife Corridor at Liberty Canyon ($400,000 to National Wildlife Federation)
  • Restoring the Deer Creek Headwaters at Childs Meadow ($374,588 to Point Blue Conservation Science)
  • Elk Creek Restoration Feasibility Study ($347,204 to Smith River Alliance)
    Rowdy Creek and Dominie Creek Fish Passage Improvement Planning Project ($273,146 to Tolowa Dee-ni Nation)
  • Advancing Restoration Strategies for Hydrologic Connectivity in Williams Creek ($268,862 to Humboldt County Resource Conservation District)
  • Scott Creek Lagoon and Marsh Restoration ($237,690 to Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission)
  • Restoration planning at the Sespe Cienega in Fillmore ($237,570 to Santa Clara River Conservancy)

 

Projects approved for funding through the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program include:
Scientific Studies:

  • Reconnecting Delta food webs: evaluating the influence of tidal marsh restoration on energy flow and prey availability for native fishes ($1,107,041 to State Water Contractors)
  • Quantifying genetic and epigenetic variation in Delta smelt that may enable adaptation to future environments ($934,616 to University of California, Davis)
  • Effects of Multiple Environmental Stressors on Ecological Performance of Early Life Stage Sturgeon ($957,427 to University of California, Davis)
  • Monitoring and Modeling Pathogen Exposure in Salmon Migrating to the Delta ($847,041 to University of California, Santa Cruz)
  • Delta Wetlands and Resilience: blue carbon and marsh accretion ($819,998 to San Francisco Estuary Institute)
  • Enhancing predictive capability for phytoplankton response to natural and operational induced variability of phytoplankton blooming in the Delta. ($784,970 to San Francisco State University)
  • Quantifying Biogeochemical Processes through Transport Modeling: Pilot Application in the Cache Slough Complex ($570,602 to University of California, Davis)
  • Developing an eDNA metabarcoding protocol to improve fish and mussel monitoring in the San Francisco Estuary ($419,742 to University of California, Davis)
  • The role of wetlands in pelagic food webs: metagenomics reveals how wetland plant detritus may promote zooplankton growth and survival ($399,171 to University of California, Davis)
  • Trade-offs and Co-benefits of Landscape Change Scenarios on Human and Bird Communities in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta ($248,077 to Point Blue Conservation Science)
  • Developing a new molecular isotopic tool to examine Delta food webs ($211,907 to University of California, Santa Cruz)

 

 

The Coastal Conservancy is a state agency, established in 1976, to protect and improve natural lands and waterways, to help people get to and enjoy the outdoors, and to sustain local economies along California’s coast. The Conservancy is a non-regulatory agency that supports projects to protect coastal resources and increase opportunities for the public to enjoy the coast.

 

Since its founding, the Conservancy has:

  • Funded 2,400 projects along the California coastline and in the San Francisco Bay.
  • Protected 390,000 acres of coastal lands through acquisition of fee title and conservation easements.
  • Restored 33,000 acres of habitat.
  • Built 200 new coastal accessway and 210 miles of new trails.
  • Put $1.3 billion to work for conservation projects, and leveraged far more from federal, local government, and private sources.

Jobs: Environmental Interns

The Coastal Conservancy is hiring two Environmental Interns: one working with our North Coast team based in our Oakland headquarters, and one assisting with native plant propagation, planting, monitoring, and invasive species management at the Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project in Novato, CA.  Please click on the links below to find out more and to apply.

North Coast Environmental Intern (located in Oakland, CA)

The Environmental Services Intern is a nine-month position at the Coastal Conservancy. The incumbent will assist Conservancy staff with management of projects in the North Coast region that restore coastal habitats, increase public access for all Californians, and help communities adapt to climate change and sea level rise, and also assist with outreach and communication about the projects and programs of the Conservancy.  The internship provides entry-level experience in the conservation field at a state agency, with opportunities to network with many other organizations engaged in work to protect and restore the California Coast and increase opportunities for public access to natural areas. Specific tasks include the following:

Project Management Assistance: Assist Project Managers in the North Coast with review of grant applications and management of grants to nonprofits and public agencies for habitat restoration, public access, education programs, and planning efforts. Prepare draft grant agreements or amendments. Review work plans, invoices and deliverables.

Project and Property Monitoring: Visit completed public access and habitat restoration projects and Conservancy-owned properties, throughout the California coastal region and San Francisco Bay Area, to assess whether the projects and properties are still achieving their goals. Complete the monitoring forms and database entries and follow up with Regional Managers regarding issues that need to be addressed.

Community Engagement and Outreach: Assist Project Managers in the North Coast with development and implementation of a community engagement and outreach strategy for Climate Ready Coastal Dunes Study.

Research / Data Entry:

Entry of data into the Conservancy’s project database and GIS mapping of land acquisition, habitat restoration, or public access projects using web-based mapping systems. Research on topics of concern to the Conservancy, such as funding accomplishments, project results, and other relevant conservation or public access topics.

Working Conditions

Willing to travel by rental car and/or plane to coastal sites in California, sometimes staying overnight.  Able to work in urban and rural settings.  Works in a climate controlled office setting.

To learn more and apply, please click here: https://www.jobs.ca.gov/CalHrPublic/Jobs/JobPosting.aspx?JobControlId=153722

 

Hamilton Nursery Environmental Intern (located in Novato, CA)

The Environmental Services Intern is a nine-month position at the Coastal Conservancy.  The incumbent will assist with native plant propagation, planting, monitoring, and invasive species management at the Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project in Novato. The internship provides entry-level experience in the wetland restoration field, with a specific focus on tidal wetlands and seasonal wetlands of San Francisco Bay. Additional tasks include environmental education, interpretation, volunteer coordination, and outreach associated with Hamilton Wetlands, monitoring of public use at Hamilton Wetlands, and general assistance with monitoring other Coastal Conservancy projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. Specific tasks include the following:

 

Hamilton Native Plant Program Support:  Support staff and volunteers in the propagation, planting, and monitoring of native plants at the Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project, which includes the former Hamilton Airfield and the Bel Marin Keys Unit V properties. Propagation occurs in a standard nursery shadehouse environment and in-ground beds. Manage invasive plant species via mechanical and cultural methods, including monitoring experimental trials.

 

Public Outreach: Support the Coastal Conservancy Project Manager, the Hamilton Nursery Manager, and others with efforts to provide environmental education, interpretation, guided walks, and other public outreach activities at Hamilton and Bel Marin Keys, in order to increase public engagement in the wetland restoration effort, recruit volunteers, and increase understanding and support for this large-scale wetland restoration effort.

 

Property Monitoring:

Monitor public use of the Hamilton and Bel Marin Keys properties and report activities and any concerns to the Hamilton Nursery Manager and Coastal Conservancy Project Manager. Monitor impacts of public access on the wetlands and wildlife. Assist with efforts to educate the public about guidelines for trail use.

 

Support for Maintenance Agreement:

Assist the Coastal Conservancy Project Manager with management of an agreement with Marin County Parks for trail maintenance work. Assist with invoicing, workplans, and communication with Marin County Parks staff. Ensure timely and effective management of invasive plant species along the trail.

 

Project Monitoring:

Visit completed public access or habitat restoration projects that have been funded by the Coastal Conservancy in the San Francisco Bay Area to assess whether they are still meeting their goals. Complete the monitoring forms and project database entries and follow up with the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Manager regarding issues that need to be addressed with grantees.

Working Conditions

Able to work in outdoor, natural settings. A significant amount of work is outdoors, in a muddy, wet setting, with uneven surfaces and limited or no protection from the elements.

Additional work is in a concrete building used for native plant propagation, with no heat or air-conditioning. Willing to travel within California, sometimes staying overnight. Willing to work weekends and evenings as needed for public outreach events.

To learn more and apply, please click here: https://www.jobs.ca.gov/CalHrPublic/Jobs/JobPosting.aspx?JobControlId=155064

 

Climate Ready Grant Round

The Conservancy announces a new Climate Ready grant solicitation; applications are due July 1, 2019. Climate Ready grants fund nature-based solutions for climate adaptation. This round will fund planning and implementation of managed retreat, natural shoreline infrastructure, living shorelines and habitat enhancement projects. This round is funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, and projects must facilitate greenhouse gas emission reductions. The solicitation document and application materials are posted here.

Coastal Conservancy Awards Over $17 Million for Coastal Protection

Coastal Conservancy Grants to fund land acquisition, restoration and coastal access

Riverside – This week, the Board of the California State Coastal Conservancy awarded over $17 million in grants for the acquisition of parkland, restoration of coastal resources and construction of amenities to help Californians explore and enjoy the coast.

The bulk of the awards was split between a grant of $6,200,000 to San Mateo County for the acquisition of the 58-acre Tunitas Creek Beach and $6,895,100 to nine nonprofit organizations and public agencies to improve coastal water quality, preserve and enhance coastal resources, and enhance coastal access within Santa Monica Bay and its watershed.

Tunitas Creek Beach

Tunitas Creek Beach, located between Pescadero and Half Moon Bay, has long been considered a local gem due to its long stretch of beautiful, wild, and secluded beach, and its dramatic rugged cliffs. Conservancy funding will support the acquisition of a 58-acre property that includes panoramic ocean views, nearly a mile of sandy beach and dune habitat, and a third of a mile of the Tunitas Creek riparian corridor. For decades, this private property was accessed primarily by locals and surfers. With no facilities and no park agency management, there has been a dramatic increase in adverse impacts on the property’s natural resources and public health and safety. Ownership of the property will enable San Mateo County Parks to develop safe and sustainable public access and recreation opportunities, reduce unregulated use and illegal dumping, and restore the property’s natural resources. Conservancy funds will also enable County Parks to prepare design, environmental review and permitting documents, with the intention of eventually opening the property as a new county park.

The Board of the Conservancy also authorized $6,895,100 to nine nonprofit organizations and public agencies for 10 projects that implement the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Plan (the Bay Plan).  The Bay Plan was approved in its current form in 2013 and includes specific goals and objectives related to water quality, natural resources and benefits to humans including, public access and education in the Santa Monica Bay.

The Safe Neighborhood Parks, Clean Water, Clean Air, and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2000 (Proposition 12, Public Resources Code Sections 5096.300, et seq.) allocated $25,000,000 to the Coastal Conservancy for the restoration of Santa Monica Bay in accordance with the goals and priorities of the Bay Plan. Prior to this week’s funding, the Conservancy had awarded over $17 million of Proposition 12 Santa Monica Bay funds for 49 projects in the Santa Monica Bay Watershed. The nine projects selected to receive the final tranche of Proposition 12 funding range from land acquisition to green streets construction to innovative water purification projects.

Other projects funded by the Conservancy at this week’s meeting include $1.9 million to construct a new campground in the Tijuana River Valley and $750,000 to plan new segments of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.

The full lists of projects considered and funded at the December Board meeting can be found here:

http://scc.ca.gov/2019/03/01/coastal-conservancy-public-meeting-in-riverside-march-14/

 

 

Notes to Editors:

The Coastal Conservancy is a state agency, established in 1976, to protect and improve natural lands and waterways, to help people get to and enjoy the outdoors, and to sustain local economies along California’s coast. The Conservancy is a non-regulatory agency that supports projects to protect coastal resources and increase opportunities for the public to enjoy the coast.

 

Since its founding, the Conservancy has:

  • Funded 2,400 projects along the California coastline and in the San Francisco Bay.
  • Protected 390,000 acres of coastal lands through acquisition of fee title and conservation easements.
  • Restored 33,000 acres of habitat.
  • Built 200 new coastal accessway and 210 miles of new trails.
  • Put $1.3 billion to work for conservation projects, and leveraged far more from federal, local government, and private sources.

 

Grant Announcement: Advancing Nature-Based Adaptation Solutions in Marin County

Marin Community Foundation

The California State Coastal Conservancy (Conservancy) announces the availability of a third round of funding through its Advancing Nature-Based Adaptation Solutions grant program for Marin County. These grants are made possible by funding from the Buck Family Fund of the Marin Community Foundation to address the impacts of climate change, specifically sea level rise, particularly on low-income communities and other underserved populations in Marin County.

Up to $900,000 is available for awards through this year’s competitive grant program.  The minimum grant amount is anticipated to be $50,000; the maximum grant amount is anticipated to be $200,000.  All applicants must submit a proposal application.  Proposals will be evaluated and the top-ranked proposals will be approved in mid to late 2019. Applications are due April 1, 2019.

The proposal application and guidelines can be downloaded in Word here and viewed in PDF here. 

There will be an informational meeting on Monday March 4, 2019 from 3-4pm at the offices of Marin Community Foundation, 5 Hamilton Landing, Suite 200, 94949 in Novato. Please come up to the second floor and check in with reception when you arrive. Please indicate your interest in attending by sending an RSVP to marilyn.latta@scc.ca.gov by March 1.

Eelgrass Planting

The Advancing Nature-Based Adaptation Solutions grant program seeks to support planning, design, permitting, implementation, education, and/or community-based restoration activities to address the risks and impacts of climate change and sea level rise; and to further advance nature-based adaptation solutions to protect and enhance the Marin County bay shoreline and outer coast. These funds can be used to support the following types of projects:

 

  • Small to moderate size, high-priority restoration projects located within Marin County that advance regional coastal and baylands ecosystem habitat goals, particularly ‘living shoreline’ concepts, including restoring native oyster and eelgrass habitats, sand beaches and dunes, tidal marshes, and other shoreline habitats;
  • Education and engagement of the public, especially underserved youth and communities more directly impacted by sea level rise, in restoration efforts, where possible;
  • Capacity building among critical partners in order to translate scientific data and analysis into practical solutions for broader implementation.

Questions about the application process and potential projects may be directed to Marilyn Latta, 510-286-4157 or marilyn.latta@scc.ca.gov.

 

Webinar: The Stories We Don’t Tell About People of Color in the Outdoors

A recording of this webinar can be found here.
We hope you can join us for a webinar Thursday, February 28th from 12:00 p.m to 1:00 p.m. to hear about engaging people of color in the outdoors. Speaker Amanda E. Machado will share her personal story as a woman of color becoming involved in the environmentalist movement and facilitate a conversation about how to be more inclusive.
“This talk will explore how traditional narratives in the environmentalism movement and in outdoor recreation culture as a whole have historically not reflected the values and experiences of people of color. In this talk, I’ll share my personal story of how I got involved in the environmentalist and outdoors space after taking a year off to travel and hike across four continents in 2012, and why I had felt excluded from those spaces previously. I’ll then present three-five common narratives our culture often tells about people of color in the outdoors, and discuss what they miss, particularly in terms of race and other systems of power. After, participants will have a chance to brainstorm how we can combat erasure and how can tell more than just– as writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie named — the “single story” we often have about people of color outside.”-Amanda E. Machado
Please register here.
The webinar will be recorded and a link will be sent to all registrants.
About the Speakers:
Amanda E. Machado is a writer, editor, and facilitator who has lived and worked around the world. After teaching 9th grade English as a Teach for America corps member, she spent fifteen months backpacking South America, South Asia, Western Europe and the Western United States. Since then, she built a career as a freelance writer while living temporarily in cities like Cape Town, Havana, and Berlin.
Amanda has been published in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, Vox, Outside, REI Co-Op Journal, Quartz, Business Insider, and others, and has worked as a social justice editor for Matador Network, the world’s largest independent travel magazine. Her work has also been featured in the New York Times, NPR, Longreads, Jezebel, the She Explores podcast, and several other publications, radio programs, and blogs. In addition to her essay writing, Amanda also facilitates workshops on issues of equity and social justice for organizations around the world.
Amanda has a degree in English Literature and Nonfiction Writing from Brown University.

Equity and Environmental Justice Survey/ Encuesta de Equidad y Justicia

The Coastal Conservancy is embarking on an effort to create Equity and Environmental Justice Guidelines to direct our agency’s work. The Coastal Conservancy’s vision is of a beautiful, restored, and accessible coast for ALL Californians and we see equity and environment justice as a key driver of our agency’s work.  We would like your feedback to help identify which priorities you think are most important for our agency to address. Please share with any others you think may be interested.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GWKLCZD

Surveys due March 6, 2019.

 

Coastal Conservancy está embarcando en un esfuerzo para crear recomendaciones y mejorar el programa Equidad y Justicia en el Medio Ambiente. Nos gustaría que sus comentarios nos ayuden a identificar las prioridades que considera más importantes en su comunidad. Gracias.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q29HQNX

Encuestas programadas para el 6 de marzo de 2019.

Coastal Conservancy Proposition 1 Grant Solicitation

The Conservancy announces a new Proposition 1 Grant Solicitation, applications are due April 30, 2019.  Conservancy Proposition 1 grants fund multi-benefit ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects. Priority project types include: water sustainability improvements, anadromous fish habitat enhancement, wetland restoration and urban greening. The solicitation document and application materials are posted here.

Request for Partnership Proposals/Letters of Interest for the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program

The California State Coastal Conservancy (Conservancy) seeks partners for joint applications for coastal wetlands acquisition and/or restoration projects on the California coast or in San Francisco Bay to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 round of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) National Coastal Wetlands Conservation (NCWC) Grant Program.  Only designated state agencies, including the Conservancy, are eligible to apply for NCWC grants.  However, the Conservancy can work in partnership with state and local agencies, tribes, and certain non-profits to develop and submit NCWC proposals.  The Conservancy can pass through NCWC grant funds to its partners to implement projects.  While federal agencies can’t receive NCWC grant funds, NCWC-funded projects can be implemented on federal lands.

If your project is selected, the Conservancy will work with you to prepare a NCWC grant proposal, which may or may not be awarded funding by the USFWS. The Conservancy will not award state funding grants directly through this solicitation.  The USFWS selects proposals for award through a merit-based, national competitive review process. The deadline to submit NCWC proposals to the USFWS for FY 2020 has not been set but is expected to be in mid- to late June 2019.  If projects are awarded a NCWC grant, funding will be available for implementation as early as Spring 2020.  USFWS will need to meet its project-related environmental compliance requirements before making funding available. A full description of the NCWC program can be found here:  https://www.fws.gov/coastal/CoastalGrants/

NCWC provides grants of up to $1,000,000 for the protection and/or restoration of coastal wetlands.  Grants are for project implementation, although it is permissible to utilize a small amount (~15%) of the grant for biological surveys or monitoring, planning and permitting if those activities are closely tied to implementation. Projects should be ready for implementation in Summer 2020 or 2021.  Projects will be more competitive if the project area is primarily made up of jurisdictional wetlands.  The NCWC grant program requires a non-federal match of at least 25% of the total project cost, consisting of either cash or in-kind contributions, and additional points are awarded for match of up to 33% of the total project cost.  The Conservancy may be able to provide some or all of the required match, but project partners with their own match will increase the Conservancy’s capacity to carry out more projects.  The NCWC program also prioritizes projects that involve multiple partners providing a cash or in-kind contribution. All projects must ensure long-term (at least 20 years) conservation of coastal resources.

Eligible Activities include:

  1. Acquisition of a real property interest (e.g., conservation easement or fee title) in coastal lands or waters (coastal wetlands ecosystems) from willing sellers or partners for long-term conservation;
  2. Restoration, enhancement, or management of coastal wetlands ecosystems; or
  3. A combination of acquisition, restoration, and management.

Ineligible Activities include, but are not limited to:

  1. Projects that primarily benefit navigation, irrigation, flood control, or mariculture;
  2. Acquisition, restoration, enhancement or management of lands required as the result of a regulatory or decision-making process to mitigate habitat losses;
  3. Creation of wetlands where wetlands did not previously exist;
  4. Enforcement of fish and wildlife laws and regulations, except when necessary for the accomplishment of approved project purposes;
  5. Research;
  6. Planning as a primary project focus;
  7. Operations and maintenance, including long-term invasive species management;
  8. Acquisition and/or restoration of upper portions of watersheds where benefits to the coastal wetlands ecosystem are not significant and direct; and
  9. Projects providing less than 20 years of conservation benefits.

More information about NCWC grants, including the FY 2019 Notice of Funding Opportunity, is available here: https://www.fws.gov/coastal/CoastalGrants/  Note that the FY 2019 Notice of Funding Opportunity for the NCWC program has not yet been released.

 

Letter of Interest Submittal: To indicate your interest in partnering with the Conservancy on a NCWC proposal, please submit a brief (~2-4 page) letter of interest via email to joel.gerwein@scc.ca.gov. The letter should include the following information: 1) 1-2 sentence summary of proposed project, 2) description of the need for the project, 3) description of the proposed project and how it addresses the need, 4) estimated project cost and description of potential match, 5) approximate timeline for project implementation (include information of the status of project design and environmental review for restoration projects), 6) indicate whether you have a willing seller for acquisition projects, and 7) list of potential project partners and their roles in the project.  Include a map showing the project area and providing the approximate acreage of the project area and acreage of coastal wetlands within the project area. Letters of Interest must be received by 5 PM PST on March 21st, 2019.

 

Eligible Applicants: Non-federal public agencies, tribes, and certain nonprofit organizations are eligible for funding. To be eligible, a nonprofit organization must qualify under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and its articles of incorporation must demonstrate that the organization’s purposes are consistent with Division 21 of the Public Resources Code, the Coastal Conservancy’s enabling legislation.

 

Questions: Questions about the application process and potential projects may be directed to Joel Gerwein, External Grants Manager, 510-286-4170, Joel.Gerwein@scc.ca.gov

Coastal Conservancy Awards Nearly $4 million of state cap-and-trade proceeds going to protect communities from climate change

Coastal Conservancy Awards of $18.5 million in Grants for Coastal Protection and Restoration

Morro Rock

Morro Bay – This week, the Board of the California State Coastal Conservancy awarded $3.8 million for 12 projects in the Conservancy’s Climate Ready grant program, which supports projects to increase the resilience of coastal resources and communities to the impacts of climate change. These grants were part of a total of nearly $18.5 million in 19 grants for the protection and restoration of California’s coastal resources.

 

For the first time, this year’s Climate Ready grants were funded by state cap-and-trade proceeds, which are deposited in the state greenhouse gas reduction fund (GGRF) and administered by the California Air Resources Board. In order to meet GGRF’s legislative purposes, projects must facilitate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and, where feasible, include additional co-benefits, such as investment in disadvantaged communities and economic, environmental and public health benefits to the state.  86% of the $3.8 million awarded is going to projects that are located in and benefit disadvantaged communities.

 

Also approved was $5.7 million for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to place dredged sediment from Redwood City Harbor at wetland restoration sites on the shoreline of San Francisco Bay. The Corps dredges approximately 1.5 million to 2 million cubic yards of sediment each year in San Francisco Bay, maintaining federal navigation channels for shipping. The sediment dredged by the Corps must be placed at permitted placement sites, such as the Deep Ocean Disposal Site or In-Bay disposal sites, or at beneficial use sites.  Many of the restorable diked baylands have subsided and need sediment to raise their elevations or to create transition zones prior to tidal restoration. This funding will enable sediment from Redwood City Harbor to be placed at restoration sites in Bay as the Corps requires a nonfederal sponsor to pay the incremental cost above the cost for In-Bay disposal to place the sediment at a beneficial use site.

 

“Both the GGRF-funded Climate Ready grants and the Beneficial Re-use of Sediment project are great examples of innovation in conservation.” said Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer of the Coastal Conservancy. “We are finding new funding streams and new technologies to accelerate our protection of coastal resources. In the race against climate change and sea level rise, we are using every tool we have to safeguard our irreplaceable natural resources.”

 

Additionally, the Conservancy authorized $118,000 to Sonoma State University and the Friends of the Sea Otter to implement two separate projects to aid in recovery of the southern sea otter.  Sonoma State University will undertake an analysis of the potential number of sea otters that Drakes Estero and Tomales Bay could support, and Friends of the Sea Otter will continue its public education programs focused on reducing stress on otters induced by interactions with humans.  These grants are funded through a voluntary tax check-off program.

 

The full lists of projects considered and funded at the December Board meeting can be found here:

http://scc.ca.gov/2018/11/21/coastal-conservancy-public-meeting-in-morro-bay-december-06/

 

 

 

 

 

Notes to Editors:

The Coastal Conservancy is a state agency, established in 1976, to protect and improve natural lands and waterways, to help people get to and enjoy the outdoors, and to sustain local economies along California’s coast. The Conservancy is a non-regulatory agency that supports projects to protect coastal resources and increase opportunities for the public to enjoy the coast.

 

Since its founding, the Conservancy has:

  • Funded 2,400 projects along the California coastline and in the San Francisco Bay.
  • Protected 390,000 acres of coastal lands through acquisition of fee title and conservation easements.
  • Restored 33,000 acres of habitat.
  • Built 200 new coastal accessway and 210 miles of new trails.
  • Put $1.3 billion to work for conservation projects, and leveraged far more from federal, local government, and private sources.

 

The GGRF-funded Climate Ready grants are part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment– particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at: www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov