Sacramento, California - Strengthening California’s response to long-term climate change, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of 12 projects that will receive grant funding to restore wetlands that sequester greenhouse gases (GHGs) and provide other ecological benefits.
The grants are CDFW’s first distribution of funds from California’s cap-and-trade program for combating climate change, and represent a further step toward addressing climate change impacts on the state’s biodiversity. Using cap-and-trade proceeds, CDFW and other state agencies are funding a diverse set of investments that will deliver GHG reductions as well as economic, health and environmental benefits.
The Wetlands Restoration for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant Program focuses on projects with measurable objectives that will lead to GHG reductions in mountain meadow ecosystems, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and coastal wetlands and provide co-benefits such as enhancing fish and wildlife habitat, protecting and improving water quality and quantity, and helping California adapt to climate change.
CDFW received 27 proposals requesting a total of $49 million in grants. All proposals underwent an initial administrative review; those that passed were then evaluated through a technical review process that included review by internal scientists, external academic experts, and a representative of the Air Resources Board. The proposals were scored based on criteria that included applicant qualifications, project description, greenhouse gas reductions, co-benefits, climate change considerations and scientific merit.
CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham approved 12 projects for $21 million in funding to restore or enhance approximately 2,500 acres of wetlands and mountain meadows. Grant agreements will be finalized and work will begin in the current fiscal year.
“Wetlands are critically important fish and wildlife habitats,” Bonham said. “They benefit the ecosystem, provide water storage and supply, and have one of the highest rates of carbon sequestration. Our department has a long history of habitat restoration, often in concert with many valued partners. This is an exciting opportunity to expand the traditional focus of fish and wildlife habitat conservation to achieving other important benefits to society.”
The funded projects are:
- North Campus Open Space Wetlands Restoration, ($999,989 to Regents of the UC Santa Barbara)
- Blue Carbon at Elkhorn Slough: Increasing Regional Carbon Sequestration Through Salt Marsh Restoration, ($2,996,768 to Elkhorn Slough Foundation)
- Initiation of Thin-layered Sediment Augmentation on the Pacific Coast: An Action to Ensure the Long Term Availability of Coastal Salt Marsh for Carbon Sequestration/Storage, as well as to Support the Conservation of Habitat to Support Listed and Sensitive Wetland Species, ($1,055,827 to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
- Sherman Island Wetland Restoration Project, ($10,386,139 to Reclamation District 341)
- Restoration of the Carbon Storing Ecosystem in Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, ($587,996 to Yosemite National Park)
- A Demonstration of the Carbon Sequestration and Biodiversity Benefits of Beaver and Beaver Dam Analogue Restoration Techniques, ($539,672 to Center for Watershed Sciences, UC Davis)
- Yuba Headwaters Meadow Restoration, ($567,480 to South Yuba River Citizens League)
- Developing a Protocol for Net Carbon Sequestration from Restoration of Eastern Sierra Meadows, ($921,766 to California Trout, Inc.)
- Mountain Meadows Restoration Project at Greenville Creek and Upper Goodrich and Effects on GHGs, ($679,566 to Plumas Corporation)
- Middle Martis Creek Wetlands Restoration, ($594,176 to Truckee River Watershed Council)
- Truckee Meadows Restoration Project, ($1,495,551 to Truckee River Watershed Council)
- Bean Meadow Restoration Project, ($493,542 to Sierra Foothill Conservancy)
More information about the CDFW program can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Wetlands-Restoration.
Funding for these projects comes from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, an allocation in the Governor’s Budget of cap-and-trade auction proceeds to CDFW and other state agencies and departments. Cap-and-trade is a market based regulation that is designed to reduce GHGs from multiple sources. See more information about California’s Cap-and-Trade Program.