At its May 31 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved $29.4 million to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. The 30 funded projects will provide benefits to fish and wildlife species, including some endangered species, and others will provide public access opportunities to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, the landowner and the local community. The funds for all of these projects come from recent bond initiatives approved by the voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources.
Some of the funded projects include:
- A $1.4 million grant to the Regents of the University of California to construct a new classroom/lecture hall, install underground utilities, improve existing roadway and parking areas, and replace water control structures at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory, approximately eight miles east of Mammoth Lakes in Mono County.
- A $234,000 grant to the East Bay Regional Park District to replace an existing vault toilet with an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible restroom, construct an ADA parking space, improve an ADA path and conduct a structural engineering inspection of the Point Pinole Fishing Pier at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline Park in Contra Costa County.
- A $552,076 grant to the Monterey County Parks Department to acquire approximately 113 acres to protect native grasslands, oak woodlands, riparian woodlands and seasonal wetlands that serve as an important wildlife corridor. The land is located west of Salinas, adjacent to the Toro County Park, along Highway 68, in Monterey County.
- Acceptance of a $10,000 grant from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Habitat Conservation Planning grant that will be passed on to the Coachella Valley Conservation Commission to acquire approximately 1,342 acres of land for the protection of Peninsular bighorn sheep habitat, and to provide future wildlife oriented public use opportunities.
- A $2 million grant to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to acquire a working forest conservation easement over approximately 4,024 acres located two miles southeast of the community of Bridgeville in Humboldt County, where the State proposes to administer federal Forest Legacy Program funds to protect forest land, important scenic, fish, wildlife, riparian and other ecological values under the California Forest Legacy Program.
- A $1.5 million grant to the California Waterfowl Association (CWA) to acquire fee title of approximately 763 acres of land south of Suisun City, north of Grizzly Bay in Solano County, for the protection of San Francisco Bay Area wetlands and associated upland areas that support migratory waterfowl and shorebirds and threatened and endangered species, including the fully-listed salt-marsh harvest mouse.
- A $2 million grant to CWA to acquire fee title of approximately 982 acres of land in Solano County, south of Suisun City and north of Grizzly Bay for the protection of San Francisco Bay Area wetlands and associated upland areas that support migratory waterfowl and shorebirds and threatened and endangered species, including the fully-listed salt-marsh harvest mouse.
- A $2.8 million grant to the Solano Land Trust for a cooperative project with the California Coastal Conservancy, Moore Foundation, City of Fairfield, Resources Legacy Fund and the Syar Foundation to acquire approximately 1,165 acres of land in the hills north of Cordelia Junction, in Solano County to protect significant natural landscapes and wildlife corridors. This land runs north to the Blueridge open space areas near Lake Berryessa and includes oak woodland, grassland, wetland and riparian habitats, and will provide access and passive recreational opportunities to the public.
- An $8 million grant to Ducks Unlimited, Inc., for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy and the Department of Fish and Game to restore approximately 230 acres of coastal wetlands and to construct public access improvements at ponds E12 and E13 at DFG’s Eden Landing Ecological Reserve, approximately 5.5 miles west of Union City in Alameda County.
- A $400,000 grant to the State Coastal Conservancy for a cooperative project with the Earth Island Institute to assist with the implementation of the Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program that provides funding for community-based restoration projects in coastal wetlands and watersheds in Southern California. Projects are located in the five coastal counties from Point Conception to the U.S.-Mexico border, including portions of Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties.
For more information about the WCB, please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.