The California State Coastal Conservancy has received $2 million in grant funding for coastal wetland restoration from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program.
The grant program annually provides grants of up to $1 million to coastal and Great Lakes states, as well as U.S. territories to protect, restore and enhance coastal wetland ecosystems and associated uplands.
This year, $1 million each was awarded to the Big Canyon Wetlands Restoration Project in Newport Beach, and the Elkhorn Slough Tidal Marsh Restoration Phase 2 Project in Monterey County.
“National Coastal Wetlands Conservation funding only goes to projects of national importance,” said Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer of the California State Coastal Conservancy. “The two Conservancy projects funded this year will restore diverse and complex ecosystems that are part of the nation’s natural heritage.”
Big Canyon Wetlands Restoration
The California State Coastal Conservancy will restore 9.6 acres of coastal wetlands and associated uplands draining to Upper Newport Bay in the 60-acre Big Canyon Nature Park in Newport Beach, California.
The project goal is to restore a self-sustaining coastal wetlands complex across the tidal to freshwater to uplands continuum. Specifically, the project will restore and enhance 1,000 feet of channel and instream habitat, 5.8 acres of riparian scrub, 0.5 acres of alkali meadow and 3.3 acres of coastal sage scrub.
Elkhorn Slough Tidal Marsh Restoration Phase 2
The California State Coastal Conservancy, in partnership with the Elkhorn Slough Foundation, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, will restore approximately 30 acres of tidal wetlands in Elkhorn Slough and establish perennial grassland on five acres adjacent to the restored tidal wetlands.