CDFW Provides $36 Million for Project to Save Salmon and Other California Fish
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced on April 13 that they would be supporting nearly $36 million in projects to benefit salmon and their habitats and to continue supporting climate resiliency, wildlife corridors (a strip of natural habitat connecting populations of wildlife that are otherwise separated by cultivated land), and wetland restoration.
According to the CDFW, many key actions for future Californians will be required in or to save salmon and rebuild their populations. Acts will include:
- Investing in and restoring salmon strongholds as climate refugia.
- Increasing partnerships.
- Working with Tribes.
- Incorporating more large-scale restoration faster.
- Modernizing old infrastructures.
- Creating fish passage around migration barriers.
Awards will be distributed as the following:
Salmon Strongholds: Klamath, Scott, and Shasta Rivers.
The CDFW will award $20 million in Drought Emergency Salmon Protection Grants to 10 projects that will provide support by collaborating with Tribes and landowners in the Shasta and Scott rivers and their watersheds. Support will be provided by habitat improvement, removing barriers that black fish passages, and groundwater recharge projects. Nine million from the funds will go to Tribes in the Klamath River mainstream for post-McKinney Fire debris flow damage remediation, slope and sediment stabilization, and restoration for salmonids.
Climate Resiliency and Nature-Based Solutions.
The CDFW will award $6.9 million to nine projects to expand support to nature-based solutions, climate resiliency, wildlife corridors, and restoration of wetlands. Projects funded with these grants will go toward planning and implementation of wetlands and mountain meadows, including expanding habitat for Lahontan cutthroat trout habitat on the Upper Truckee River, addressing urgent degrading water and habitat conditions due to climate change impacts in Shasta and Sonoma counties, and creating habitat connectivity through wildlife corridors funding for species such as Clear Lake hitch and newts, among other projects.
While awaiting the commencement of these projects, the CDFW will continue to accept applications for new projects and make awards on an ongoing basis as long as they emphasize a strategic approach to rebuilding salmon and other species through the removal of barriers to migration, improving water management and quality, restoring core salmon strongholds, and taking substantial steps to modernize older infrastructures for salmon-friendly results.
The CDFW announced in late 2022 that $200 million in new funding was available for restoration, including $100 million in emergency drought funding for protecting salmon against drought and climate change.
Funding under the Addressing Climate Impacts and Nature-Based Solutions initiatives provides:
- Grant funding for projects addressing water and habitat impacted by climate.
- Restoring wetlands and mountain meadows.
- Creating wildlife corridors.
On March 7, 2023, CDFW announced its first round of awards totaling $22.5 million for 19 projects from this funding.
To achieve that goal of California accomplishing more restoration faster, the CDFW has developed a single set of General Grant Program Guidelines with an overview of eligible project types, priorities, and information on the application process, available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Watersheds/Restoration-Grants/Concept-Application.
More information about these funding opportunities, including guidelines and how to apply, general information about CDFW’s grant programs, and a schedule for upcoming grant solicitations, once available, can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/grants.