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EPA awards Northern California wetlands projects totaling $469,517

Release Date: 01/06/2006
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 947-4248

(01/05/06) SAN FRANCISCO -- As part of a new pilot program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the California Resources Agency $300,000 to expand wetland monitoring and report on wetland acreage statewide, and also awarded the Humboldt Bay Harbor District $131,686 and the Western Shasta Resource Conservation District $37,831 for wetlands development projects.

The grants are part of over $1.5 million the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region awarded to nine organizations, tribes and local governments this year to protect wetlands in California, Arizona and Nevada.

“Wetlands are a crucial resource for California, where many of our wetlands have been lost to urban and agricultural development,” said Alexis Strauss, the EPA’s Water Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “We believe these investments will help protect and restore our remaining wetlands.”

The EPA awarded $300,000 to the California Resources Agency as part of a new pilot program to determine environmental results from wetland programs and to meet the goals of protecting wetland acreage. The agency will use the funds, matched with $300,000 of state funds, to manage data and report on extent and condition of wetlands statewide. The initial effort will expand wetland regulatory and non-regulatory assessment and tracking capacity in the state's coastal regions and then expand availability of these tools throughout California.

Humboldt Bay Harbor will use the grant, matched with $67,000 of its own funds, to develop a historical atlas of shoreline and channel changes, estuary conditions from 1850 to present, compile an inventory of existing wetland resources, evaluate the effectiveness of wetland restoration practices, and expand invasive species education and eradication efforts.

Western Shasta Resource Conservation District will use the funds, matched with $12,610 of its own funds, to map changes in size, type and function of wetland habitats in the Lower Clear Creek Watershed, a tributary to the Sacramento River, over a 30-year time period. Aerial photography will be used to compile produce a wetland and riparian inventory showing current habitat, which will be used by the district’s restoration team and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife National Wetlands Inventory for resource management decisions.

Wetland areas reduce flood risk, recharged water supplies and protect drinking water from pollution, but are vulnerable to environmental changes and the impacts of human activities. More than one third of the nation's threatened and endangered species depend on wetland habitats for survival.

For more information on the EPA’s Wetlands Program, visit: States, tribes, or local governments seeking funding for upcoming wetlands program grants can contact Cheryl McGovern at (415) 972-3415. A request for proposals will be released later this month and will be posted on the EPA Pacific Southwest region’s Web site at, the EPA Headquarters Web site at, and the national grant website at