Department of Conservation Awards $2.4M to Improve Health of Local Waterways

February 2, 2023

Improving, protecting, and restoring local waterways is the goal of the $2.4 million in grants awarded by the California Department of Conservation to fund planning and implementation projects for riparian corridors in San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Ventura, Santa Cruz, and Siskiyou counties.

“Running alongside our state’s creeks, streams, and rivers, riparian corridors are biodiversity hot spots that provide essential habitat for native plants, animals and fish,” Conservation Director David Shabazian said. “Through these grants, restored lands will be able to filter sediment from runoff, provide food and habitat to fish and wildlife, absorb carbon dioxide, and reduce erosion. We are proud to be able to help our partners care for their local riparian corridors and bring healthier ecosystems and natural spaces to their communities.” 

Conservation’s Working Lands and Riparian Corridors Program funded efforts by five Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) supporting long-term, sustainable management of riparian corridors on farms and ranches. RCDs are locally focused, partnering with communities to organize voluntary efforts that care for land, water, soil, and other natural resources. There are 95 RCDs serving many parts of the state.

Utilizing funds from the Parks and Water Bond Act of 2018, Conservation made the following grants: 
  • Coastal San Luis RCD: $863,717.70 to implement the Stenner Creek Watershed Enhancement Project – a project resulting from a previous planning grant.

    “As our programs mature, we’re realizing so many are built on top of other project funding our grantees have received,” Director Shabazian said. “It’s gratifying to see that connection.” 
  • RCD of Santa Cruz County: $741,271.44 to plan for the restoration of Scott Creek at Swanton Pacific Ranch. 
  • RCD of Monterey County: $53,848.95 for the protection of Porter Marsh. 
  • Ventura RCD: $276,271.69 to implement the King & King upland and riparian habitat enhancement project along the Santa Clara River 
  • Siskiyou RCD: $497,409.48 to plan habitat restoration on the upper main channel of the Scott River.
The Working Lands and Riparian Corridors Program intersects or is complementary to various Department of Conservation-administered programs​, including the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC), California Farmland Conservancy Program’s (CFCP) easement and land improvements project types, and Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program (RFFC). 


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