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Five Star Urban Waters Grants Awarded to Projects in California

With support from EPA, community-led projects will restore urban waters and streams, address water quality in priority watersheds

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced grants to three organizations in California: Tejon Ranch Conservancy in Kern County, Save The Bay in Oakland, and Trust for Public Land in Los Angeles. The funding will help restore wetlands, provide environmental stewardship and science education, and improve stormwater management.

The Tejon Ranch Conservancy will receive $44,665 for the Sacatara Canyon Springs Restoration Project to restore 20 acres of wetland and desert habitat serving as important migratory and breeding habitat for various birds, native amphibians and mammals. The project will engage local school districts, a local university, a citizen science group and a private landowner. Over 200 volunteers will help remove five acres of invasive vegetation, assess bird populations and monitor native riparian habitat adjacent to streams and wetlands.

Save The Bay will receive $30,000 to restore and enhance 2.9 acres of wetlands in Oakland, Calif. The project will engage local community volunteers, provide environmental stewardship and science education to 1,000 students, and help ensure a clean and healthy San Francisco Bay and San Lorenzo Creek watershed.

The Trust for Public Land will receive $45,000 to engage residents in planning, implementing, and monitoring the Central-Jefferson and Quincy Jones Green Alleys Networks in South Los Angeles. The green alleys network improves community walkability and promotes stormwater capture and infiltration to absorb runoff that would otherwise reach the Los Angeles River and Pacific Ocean. The project will improve stormwater controls, water quality monitoring, and restoration of native habitat, and will increase local groundwater supplies and resilience to drought.

The grants were among 59 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program grants awarded, totaling $2.2 million, to restore wildlife habitat and urban waters in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Grantees have committed an additional $5.2 million in local project support, generating a total conservation impact of more than $7.4 million.

"These grants will support projects that help communities improve local water quality and restore degraded wetlands and streams, both of which are critical for a healthy environment and strong economy," said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “By working alongside our public and private partners, we can encourage community stewardship and incentivize innovative solutions to address today’s environmental and public health challenges.”

“We’re pleased to partner with these organizations to support these projects,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker.

The grant is awarded through the NFWF’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program which support projects that develop community stewardship of natural resources and address water quality issues in priority watersheds across the country. Support for the 2018 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program is provided by the Wildlife Habitat Council, and major funding by EPA, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fedex, Shell Oil Company, Southern Company and BNSF Railway.

“The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program generates measurable results for wildlife and communities across the nation,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The 59 grants announced today will help communities improve water quality and support wildlife through a variety of conservation efforts, from the removal of invasive species and planting of native vegetation to the reduction of stormwater runoff and creation of wetlands.”

The 2018 grant winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 250 applications. A full list of 2018 projects is available here:    

Since 1999, the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program has supported more than 945 projects, with more than $11.9 million in federal funds, $10.6 million in private and corporate contributions, and $74.7 million in matching funds at the local level.

For more information about the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant program, visit

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