Press Release: Coastal Conservancy Awarded $7 Million in US Fish and Wildlife Grants

March 1, 2021

Funding for 8 Coastal Wetland Restoration Projects


Oakland, CA – The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it is awarding California State Coastal Conservancy nearly $7 million in grant funding for eight coastal wetland restoration projects.


The grants, which are part of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program, will fund restoration projects in 5 coastal counties and the San Francisco Bay, encompassing over 3,000 acres of both urban waterfronts and rural watersheds.


“The Coastal Conservancy and US Fish and Wildlife (Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program) have collaborated successfully for many years on some of the state’s most significant wetland restoration projects, which have helped wildlife populations rebound, created new public access amenities, and prepared parts of our coast for the impacts of climate change.” said Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer of the Coastal Conservancy, “I am thrilled to have so many projects funded through the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program this year.  These federal dollars are matched by state and local funding, showing that Californians have both the will and the way to restore wetland habitats.”


Wetlands in coastal watersheds are diverse and complex ecosystems that are vital to the nation’s economy and an important part of the nation’s natural heritage. Coastal wetlands in California include both salt marshes in estuaries and freshwater wetlands that extend inland within the coastal drainages. They provide crucial habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife, including breeding grounds, nurseries, shelter and food.


The Conservancy’s projects will directly benefit several federally listed and sensitive species including the California red-legged frog, western pond turtle, Nipomo lupine, legless lizard, coast horned lizard, La Graciosa thistle, California least tern, light-footed Ridgway rail, monarch butterfly, coho and Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and tidewater goby.


“The importance of the work proposed, and the quality of the applications developed by the Coastal Conservancy and its partners resulted in a high level of success in the Fiscal Year 2021 round of selections.” said Paul Souza, Regional Director of the California-Great Basin Region of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.


The projects selected for funding are:


  • Project: Black Lake Ecological Area Habitat Restoration
    Partner: Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County
    Location: San Luis Obispo County
    Award: $587,409


  • Project: Elkhorn Slough Tidal Marsh Restoration-Phase 3,
    Partner: Elkhorn Slough Foundation and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
    Location: Monterey County
    Award: $1,000,000


  • Project: Elk River Estuary Restoration-Area 2 North,
    Partner: City of Eureka
    Location: Humboldt County
    Award: $1,000,000


  • Project: Mad River Floodplain Restoration and Public Access
    Partner: McKinleyville Community Services District and Cal Trout
    Location: Humboldt County
    Award: $ 376,754


  • Project: Loma Alta Slough Wetlands Enhancement
    Partner: City of Oceanside
    Location: San Diego County
    Award: $1,000,000


  • Project: Ormand Beach Wetlands Restoration Phase 2
    Partner: The Nature Conservancy
    Location: Ventura County
    Award: $1,000,000


  • Project: San Francisco Bay Coastal Wetland Revegetation-Phase 2,
    Location: San Francisco Bay
    Award: $1,000,000


  • Project: San Diego Bay Native Oyster Living Shoreline
    Partner: Port of San Diego
    Location: San Diego County
    Award: $960,533


The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program is administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service and funded by taxes or import duties collected from the sale of recreational fishing equipment, boats, electric motors and motorboat and small engine fuels under the authority of the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act.

The Service awards grants of up to $1 million to states based on a national competition, which enables states to determine and address their highest conservation priorities in coastal areas. Since 1992, the Service has awarded more than $400 million in grants under the program.



Notes to Editors:

The Coastal Conservancy is a California 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.



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