The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced plans to allocate nearly $36 million to projects aimed at preserving salmon and their habitats. The initiative will also support climate resiliency, wildlife corridors, and wetlands restoration efforts.
Key actions for salmon preservation include restoring salmon strongholds as climate refugia, increasing partnerships, working with Tribes, accelerating large-scale restoration, modernizing outdated infrastructure, and creating fish passages around migration barriers. Today’s awards will fund such salmon-focused projects.
The CDFW has granted $20 million in Drought Emergency Salmon Protection Grants to 10 projects that collaborate with Tribes and landowners in the Shasta and Scott rivers and their watersheds. These projects involve habitat improvement, fish passage barrier removal, and groundwater recharge. Additionally, $9 million from the same fund will go to Tribes in the Klamath River mainstem for post-fire damage remediation, slope and sediment stabilization, and salmonid restoration.
CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham emphasizes the importance of these projects for struggling salmon populations, noting that the Klamath, Scott, and Shasta rivers are historic salmon strongholds. The investments in these 10 projects coincide with the largest river restoration in America’s history, which involves removing four dams on the mainstem Klamath River.
Furthermore, the CDFW is granting $6.9 million to nine projects that will support nature-based solutions, climate resiliency, wildlife corridors, and wetlands restoration. These projects will address urgent water and habitat degradation due to climate change in Shasta and Sonoma counties, expand Lahontan cutthroat trout habitat on the Upper Truckee River, and create habitat connectivity through wildlife corridors for species such as Clear Lake hitch and newts.
Work on these projects will commence soon, and the CDFW will continue to accept applications for new projects and make awards on an ongoing basis. The focus will be on a strategic approach to rebuild salmon and other species populations by removing migration barriers, improving water management and quality, restoring core salmon strongholds, modernizing older infrastructure for salmon-friendly results, and taking other necessary actions.
In late 2022, the CDFW announced $200 million in new funding for restoration, including $100 million in emergency drought funding for protecting salmon against drought and climate change. The funding also supports key initiatives like California’s 30×30 initiative, Nature-Based Solutions, and increasing the pace and scale of restoration through Cutting Green Tape.
To accelerate restoration, 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. Applications submitted under these new initiatives may also be considered for further evaluation under CDFW’s Proposition 1 and Proposition 68 Grant Programs, with a separate call for projects to be released in Spring 2023.
For more information about these funding opportunities, guidelines, and how to apply, as well as general information about CDFW’s grant programs and a schedule for upcoming grant solicitations, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/grants.