State awards $22.5 million for habitat restoration

Earlier this month the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced the award of $22.5 million to 19 projects to support the restoration of critical habitat for salmon, climate resiliency, wildlife corridors and wetlands restoration.

“This initial round of awards represents a commitment to hit the ground running to support restoration and protection of our species, and I look forward to more announcements like this in the very near future,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “We must stand up as many new projects in a short period of time to make this critical habitat more resilient to the ever-changing climate.”

More than $8.2 million was awarded to eight projects to address drought impacts for salmon in rivers and streams important to their lifecycle. Some projects will restore riparian habitat and fix unscreened water diversions. The largest project awarded under this round will be led by the Yurok Tribe within the Oregon Gulch section of the Upper Trinity River where remnants of hydraulic mining have narrowed the river and lead to a loss of salmon rearing habitat. This project will reestablish the natural flow of the river as well as a functioning floodplain to greatly improve habitat for salmon across various life stages.

Approximately $6.6 million was awarded to address urgent degrading water and habitat conditions due to climate change impacts. These projects include a focus on winter-run Chinook, improving the diversity of hatchery winter-run, as well as juvenile salmon collection system evaluation for re-introducing this species in the McCloud River above the Shasta Dam. Other projects will restore hydrologic function to floodplain habitat in the Sierra Nevada and monitor drought conditions for Chinook and coho salmon in the Scott River in Siskiyou County.

CDFW also awarded more than $6.5 million for fish passage projects that will modify bridges and remove other barriers to fish passage in northern and central California.

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