CDFW Announces $14 Million in Funding For Salmon, Steelhead Habitat Restoration

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Fish passage structures to be replaced include Duffy Gulch in Mendocino County. (CDFW)

CDFW Awards $14 Million for Salmon, Steelhead Habitat Restoration Projects

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of 26 projects that will receive a collective $14 million to protect, restore and enhance the freshwater habitats of salmon and steelhead in northern California.

Trout Unlimited, Inc. was awarded more than $2 million for the Duffy Gulch Fish Passage Improvement Project in Mendocino County. This project will remove a railroad stream crossing along the Mendocino Railway and restore fish access to nearly three miles of high-quality spawning and rearing habitat in Duffy Gulch, a tributary to the Noyo River. The new crossing will be a 45-foot diameter steel arch that will allow fish passage and is capable of handling a 100-year flood event.

All projects were awarded through CDFW’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP). FRGP was first established in 1981 and since 2000, has included funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund. The fund was created by Congress to reverse the declines of Pacific salmon and steelhead throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. This award also includes funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to help support the recovery, conservation, and resilience of Pacific salmon and steelhead.

“California’s salmon continue to face the challenges of both past and present, through countless legacy impacts to fish passage and growing climate-driven threats to their seasonal cycles,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “In the face of these grim challenges, we find optimism and hope through projects like these, which will restore access to miles of river habitat and acres of floodplain, greatly improving the productivity and sustainably of fish populations.”

Other Awarded Project Highlights

California Conservation Corps Watershed Stewards Program 2023
(Nearly $700,000 Awarded to California Conservation Corps Watershed Stewards Program in partnership with AmeriCorps)

The California Conservation Corps Watershed Stewards Program in Partnership with AmeriCorps will enlist 44 Corps members throughout coastal California to enhance watersheds that support salmon, steelhead and other types of migrating fish through restoration and protection, community education and recruiting volunteers for hands-on projects.

Lagunitas Creek Coho Habitat Enhancement Plan
(Nearly $600,000 Awarded to the Marin Municipal Water District)

This project will fully fund the design, permitting and environmental review for Phase 2 of the Lagunitas Creek Coho Habitat Enhancement Plan. Phase 2 consists of five enhancement sites located within Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Marin County. This project has also been funded through CDFW Proposition 1 and Proposition 68 grants in collaboration with Marin Water and California State Parks since 2020.

In response to the 2023 Fisheries Habitat Restoration Grant Solicitation, CDFW received 35 proposals requesting more than $23 million in funding. The proposals underwent a thorough technical review involving subject matter experts from CDFW and NOAA.

The complete list of approved projects is available on the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program website.