California to offer up to $200,000 in grants to enhance wildlife habitat

SACRAMENTO — Nonprofit organizations and government agencies could receive funding from the state to support environmental enhancement projects along or adjacent to California’s waters. The funding would help pay for projects for habitat preservation or improves ecosystem function.

Grant applications must be submitted to California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) by Aug. 31. A nonprofit organization or government agency must demonstrate their respective projects are located within or immediately adjacent to the state’s waters and must show measurable outcomes within an established timeline.

Project proposals, according to DFW staff, must also be “designed to acquire, restore, or improve habitat or restore ecosystem function, or both, to benefit fish and wildlife.”

Funds are granted through the Environmental Enhancement Fund through the state’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

Bruce Joab, a DFW scientist who oversees the Environmental Enhancement Fund application process, said the state plans to award $200,000 in grants this year.

“Our total award is expected to be $200,000, but the Environmental Enhancement Committee can decide whether they want to divide that amongst a number of proposals or not, they have freedom to go either way,” said Joab. “In the past, they have distributed the total award among several projects.”

He added the fund can benefit a variety of projects but this year’s grants could benefit freshwater venues.

“The Environmental Enhancement Fund, in its current format, has funded or is in the process of funding 12 projects ranging from native oyster restoration to tidal wetland and dune ecosystem restoration projects,” Joab told The Log. “This will be the first foray in the inland community for enhancement projects.”

Joab said the state has traditionally received two or three dozen applications in the past, but more could be submitted this year since inland waterways are now eligible for funding.

DFW staff said multiple projects could be selected. Grants up to $100,000 have been awarded in the past. Projects could be for one or multiple years.

Visit wildlife.ca.gov/OSPR/Science/Environmental-Enhancement-Fund/About for more information about the fund and grant application process.

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