PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Essentials

Ecosystem Restoration funding comment period open

By From page A5 | June 29, 2011

The California Department of Fish and Game is accepting comments on recommendations for proposed projects related to the 2010-2011 CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program.

As the state implementing agency for the ERP, the DFG released a Proposal Solicitation Package in December 2010 requesting proposals focused
on three ERP priorities:
1) Restoration projects that restore or enhance aquatic habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh and Bay;
2) Research that tests hypotheses identified in the Delta Regional Ecosystem Restoration Implementation Plan evaluation of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s conservation measures or the National Research Council Operations Criteria and Plan Biological Opinion review, or addresses uncertainties identified with either
of these activities; and
3) Projects that (a) construct facilities to control waste discharges that contribute to low dissolved oxygen and other water quality problems in the lower San Joaquin River and south Delta or (b) construct facilities to control drainage from abandoned mines that adversely affect water quality in the Bay-Delta.

The DFG convened a selection panel on June 7 and 8 to discuss the scientific merit of the eligible proposals and their relevance to ERP priorities. The Selection Panel then made initial funding recommendations for consideration by the DFG director. The selection panel was comprised of ERP Implementing Agency representatives including the DFG, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries
Service, as well as representatives from other state and federal agencies that work closely with the ERP, including the Delta Science Program and the Interagency Ecological Program.

The selection panel recommended funding 16 projects for approximately $15.3 million. Approximately 30 percent of the award is for on-the-ground restoration/remediation projects. The proposals will be funded from multiple bond sources including Propositions 13, 84 and 204. A list of the proposed projects is posted at dfg.ca.gov/ERP/grants_2010_grants_psp.asp.

As part of the ongoing transparent review process the ERP has with awarding funds for projects, DFG staff has discussed these recommendations with the Delta Stewardship Council and Delta Conservancy and now seek comments from the general public. The director will consider all comments when making the final funding decision.

All public comments must be submitted by 5 p.m. July 15. Electronic comments can be sent to [email protected] Mailed or hand delivered written comments may also be sent to: Carol Atkins, Staff Environmental Scientist, California Department of Fish and Game, Water Branch, 830 S St., Sacramento 95811. Questions about the proposals may be directed to Atkins at [email protected] or 916-445-0074.

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