News Release: State Coastal Conservancy Awards $78 Million for Climate Resilience, Public Access, Habitat Restoration and Wildfire Resilience
(Sacramento, CA) – Today (6/1/2023), the Board of the State Coastal Conservancy authorized funding totaling nearly $78 million for 34 projects to protect and restore coastal lands, increase coastal resilience to climate change, improve public access to the coast, and reduce the impact of wildfire on coastal lands.
“Our California coast is under growing threat from climate change and we must respond accordingly,” said California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot. “This historic amount of grant funding will empower partners to protect communities and restore natural systems along our coast. I’m particularly excited about funding that enables tribal governments to lead these stewardship efforts. I’m focused on helping these important projects get done as quickly as possible.”
“Thanks to California’s historic investment in the state’s natural resources, today we have been able to support many resilience, natural resource, and public access projects.” said Amy Hutzel, Executive Officer of the Coastal Conservancy. “These projects range from Del Norte County to the Tijuana River Estuary and represent some of the largest grants the Conservancy has made in the last decade. The urgency and importance of preparing our coast for the challenges of climate change has never been more evident. This level of funding will enable our partners to make substantial headway towards our vision of a beautiful, restored, and accessible coast for current and future Californians.”
The grants awarded today include:
- $16,200,000 to the City of San Buenaventura (Ventura) to construct Phase 2 of the Surfers Point Managed Retreat Project, a sea level rise adaptation project that relocates existing infrastructure landward and restores beach dune habitat.
- Over $8 million to 13 Wildfire Resilience projects that will reduce fuel loads, create fuel breaks, conduct prescribed fires, and support wildfire resilience planning.
- $4,500,000 to the Hoopa Valley Tribe to acquire approximately 10,300 acres in the Klamath River watershed to protect and restore water quality, anadromous fish habitat, wildlife habitat, wildlife connectivity, and forest health, and for tribal and public access.
- $10,673,555 in funding from the Conservancy and NOAA to restore approximately 15.9 acres of riparian habitat on lower Prairie Creek as part of the Redwood National and State Park Visitor Center and Restoration Project in Humboldt County. Of this funding, up to $8,496,000 will go to the Yurok Tribe for the implementation of this project and to plan for the continuation of similar restoration activities upstream in Prairie Creek and its tributaries.
“It has been many years since we have been able to authorize such a large amount of funding. It’s a testament to the importance the Legislature and Governor have placed on protecting and restoring the state’s natural treasures, and making sure they are available to all Californians to enjoy.” said Douglas Bosco, Chair of the Conservancy’s Board.
“SCC’s funding to support the Hoopa Valley Tribe in reacquiring 10,300 acres of their ancestral lands is a positive example of addressing historical wrongs and building meaningful partnerships with the original stewards of the land to pursue our shared climate and restoration goals,” said California Natural Resources Agency Deputy Secretary for Tribal Affairs Geneva E.B. Thompson.
Notes to Editors:
The projects approved at today’s meeting were:
- A grant of up to $711,000 for preparation of final designs, obtaining permits, and conducting project management support as an augmentation and expansion of the Conservancy’s grant, previously authorized on June 18, 2020, for planning and permitting for the restoration and enhancement of floodplain habitat on theCarmel River at the Rancho Cañada unit of the Palo Corona Regional Park in Monterey County, and adoption of findings under the California Environmental Quality Act.
- A grant of up to $2,000,000 to the County of Monterey to augment the Conservancy’s grant, previously authorized on February 3, 2022, to construct the Carmel River Floodplain Restoration and Environmental Enhancement Project in Monterey County.
- A grant of up to $426,017 to Ducks Unlimited to augment the Conservancy’s grant, previously authorized on March 25, 2021, for construction of the Ocean Ranch Restoration Projectfor project modifications including installing a new culvert and access road, conducting storm damage repair and increasing project resilience to future storms, installing new fencing and gates to manage public access, and preparing and installing interpretive signage and materials at the Ocean Ranch Unit of the Eel River Wildlife Area near Loleta in Humboldt County.
- A grant of up to $60,000 to the Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers, Inc. to conduct a geologic study of the Point Arena Bluff underlying the Point Arena Lighthouseto assess the site’s resilience to future storms and the overall safety of the Point Arena Lighthouse, in Mendocino County.
- A grant of up to $406,900 to the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County to replace a concrete ford with a bridge spanning Cachagua Creek to improve fish passage in the upper Carmel River watershed, and adoption of findings under the California Environmental Quality Act.
- A grant of $1,347,257 received by the Conservancy from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Save the Redwoods League to augment the Conservancy’s grant, authorized on March 24, 2022, of $6,602,136 to the Yurok Tribe and California Trout, Inc. to restore approximately 11.5 acres of riparian habitat on lower Prairie Creekas part of the Redwood National and State Park Visitor Center and Restoration Project at the former Orick Mill A site in Humboldt County, as follows: $1,097,257 to the Yurok Tribe and $250,000 to California Trout, Inc.
- A grant of up to $2,960,900 to the City of Berkeley to conduct technical studies, prepared preliminary engineering, and prepare a draft environmental review document for the Berkeley Pier and Water Transportation Project in Alameda County.
- A grant of up to $10,940,911 to Ducks Unlimited, which includes $3,940,911 in funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to restore tidal marsh and enhance managed ponds as part of Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Projectin Alameda and Santa Clara Counties.
- A grant of up to $1,500,000 to Sonoma Land Trust to acquire the 654-acre McCormick Ranch Property for the protection, restoration, and enhancement of natural and scenic resources, including wildlife corridors and habitat, wetland and water resources, and landscape resilience related to climate change; and providing open space, public access, recreational use, and Tribal and indigenous cultural uses compatible with natural resource protection in the Mayacamas Mountains of Sonoma and Napa Counties.
- A grant of up to $5,500,000 to California Trout, Inc. for the acquisition of the 175-acre Prior Ranch and development of restoration designs, CEQA materials and permit applications for the Elk River Habitat Restoration Project in Humboldt County.
- A grant of up to $4,500,000 to the Hoopa Valley Tribe to acquire approximately 10,300 acres of real property known as the Pine Creek Tract, in the Klamath River watershed, to protect and restore water quality, anadromous fish habitat, wildlife habitat, wildlife connectivity, and forest health, and for tribal and public access compatible with natural resource protection.
- A grant of up to $6,961,872 of funds from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and up to $3,711,683 of Conservancy funds as follows: up to $8,025,640 to the Yurok Tribe and up to $2,177,555 to California Trout, Inc. to restore approximately 15.9 acres of riparian habitat on lower Prairie Creekas part of the Redwood National and State Park Visitor Center and Restoration Project at the former Orick Mill A site in Humboldt County, and $470,360 to the Yurok Tribe to plan for the continuation of similar restoration activities upstream in Prairie Creek and its tributaries.
- A grant of up to $1,261,472, including $696,600 in Conservancy funds and $564,872 awarded to the Conservancy by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Program, to the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County to restore approximately 45 acres of coastal wetland and dune scrub habitat at the Black Lake Ecological Area in San Luis Obispo County.
- A grant of up to $2,000,000 to the Wildlands Conservancy to acquire 11,692 acres of the Rana Creek Ranch in upper Carmel Valley to protect water quality, natural resources, wildlife habitat, scenic open space, and compatible agriculture including cattle grazing, and for public and tribal access compatible with such uses.
- A grant of up to $910,000 to the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County to acquire a conservation easement over the 736-acre Warren Ranch located in the upper San Simeon and Santa Rosa Creek watersheds to protect natural resources, water quality, anadromous fish habitat, wildlife habitat, scenic open space, and compatible agriculture including cattle grazing within these coastal watersheds
- A grant of up to $2,680,000 to the City of Santa Barbara to prepare technical studies and feasibility reports and to conduct community outreach for adapting waterfront areas at-risk to sea level rise; and to prepare conceptual designs and environmental review documents for relocation of wastewater and water system infrastructure in the City of Santa Barbara.
- A grant of up to $1,090,000, including $970,000 of grant funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation to conduct pre-acquisition activities, coordinate with landowners and key stakeholders, acquire a conservation easement over 24 acres of agricultural land, and prepare conceptual designs for floodplain restoration and coastal access along Tembladero Slough, between Castroville and Salinas River State Beach.
- A grant of up to $864,000 to the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County to lead the Scotts Creek Technical Advisory Committee and provide technical assistance to Caltrans on preparation of environmental review and permit applications for the Scott Creek Coastal Resiliency project, consisting of restoration of approximately 25 acres of Scott Creek Lagoon and marsh and replacement of the Highway 1 bridge at Scott Creek Lagoon in Santa Cruz County
- A grant of up to $575,000 to the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy to prepare designs, permit applications, and environmental review for restoring 44.8 acres of degraded wetlands at Newland Marshin Huntington Beach, Orange County.
- A grant of up to $16,200,000 to the City of San Buenaventura (Ventura) to construct Phase 2 of the Surfers Point Managed Retreat Project, a sea level rise adaptation project that relocates existing infrastructure landward and restores beach dune habitat, in Ventura.
- A grant of up to $3,192,500 to the Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association to develop final design plans, to conduct pre-restoration monitoring, and to apply for permits for the first phase of the Tijuana Estuary Tidal Restoration Program II in San Diego County, and adoption of findings under the California Environmental Quality Act.
- Grants totaling $4,983,994 to a Tribe, four nonprofit organizations, three resource conservation districts, and the Regents of the University of California for nine wildfire resilience projects.
- A grant of up to $449,900 to the Wildlands Conservancy for fuel reduction, vegetation management, and installation of grazing infrastructure on 796 acres on Jenner Headlands Preserve, Jenner, Sonoma County.
- A grant of up to $989,300 to Russian Riverkeeper to implement the Healdsburg Arundo Removal Project, which consists of removing invasive Arundo donax along 5 miles of the Russian River to reduce fire risk to Fitch Mountain and Healdsburg in Sonoma County.
- A grant of up to $515,200 to the Pepperwood Foundation to reconstruct fire-damaged grazing infrastructure and conduct vegetation management, including forest thinning, prescribed burns, and grazing to reduce wildfire risk at the Pepperwood Preservein Sonoma County, and adoption of findings under the California Environmental Quality Act.
- A grant of up to $1,150,000 to remove dead and dying trees along a ten-mile stretch of road that is also a fuel break and processing the wood into a charcoal product at the San Vicente Redwoods Preservein Santa Cruz County.
The State 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:
- Completed over 4,000 projects along the California coastline and in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Conserved over 390,000 acres of coastal lands.
- Restored over 33,000 acres of habitat.
- Installed over 200 new coastal accessways.
- Built 210 miles of new trails.
- Put over $1.8 billion to work for conservation projects.
More information is at scc.ca.gov.
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