The California Natural Resources Agency announced today it is directing nearly $50 million in Proposition 68 funding to 15 projects that can immediately help improve ecosystem health for Central Valley salmon, steelhead and other native fish.
The projects – ranging from floodplain restoration and gravel enhancement to the installation of fish passage and fish screens – will help boost the viability of salmonids and other native fish in the Sacramento River mainstem, the Yuba, Feather, American and Mokelumne rivers, Putah Creek and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. They are expected to improve food availability, spawning, and/or rearing habitats for salmonids and improve habitats in the Delta for salmonids, Delta smelt, and longfin smelt.
State agencies including the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board worked in partnership to select the projects for funding.
“Imperiled fish need improved conditions now. We’re excited to make these strategic investments to get projects moving and advance the Newsom Administration’s goals of furthering large-scale habitat restoration,” Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said. “These multi-faceted projects were developed over time with a wide variety of stakeholders, building on widely recognized needs for imperiled fish. They hold the promise of bringing benefits on line quickly to deliver on our priorities.”
Voter-approved Proposition 68 of 2018 authorized more than $4 billion in funding for natural resources-related programs including habitat conservation, expanded access to parks and water resilience projects. The measure directed $200 million to the California Natural Resources Agency to support multi-benefit water quality, water supply and watershed protection and restoration as part of improving environmental health in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river systems.
This $50 million was allocated in the 2019-2020 state budget from Proposition 68 to fund habitat improvement projects.
To be selected for funding, projects must meet the following selection criteria: advance at least one recognized species recovery plan or effort; be almost certain to deliver identified benefits to target species; provide durable, long-term benefits; be feasible to implement within a clear, reasonable timeframe; be planned for completion by an experienced project team; and be supported by a wide variety of governmental and non-governmental partners.
Details on the 15 projects can be found here.