California RealEstateRama, 3/18/15
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today announced more than $4.3 million in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants to restore river habitat and improve water quality in Napa and Sonoma Counties. The grants are part of the $8.7 million in federal funds awarded to local and state organizations for projects to restore tidal marshes, river habitat, and improve water quality in and around San Francisco Bay.
“These grants will benefit our communities, wildlife and the long-term health of the greater San Francisco Bay estuary,” said Thompson. “By improving water quality and restoring habitat, we can help make sure these important natural resources, and the jobs and businesses that depend on them, are protected and kept strong.”
The grants will support the following projects:
Sears Point Tidal Marsh Restoration
- $1.5 million to Sonoma Land Trust with partners U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Ducks Unlimited and San Francisco Bay Joint Venture.
- Restoring 960 acres of tidal wetlands by breaching a levee to connect tidal marsh habitat from the Sonoma Baylands to San Pablo Bay, providing habitat for protected species and creating levee slopes designed to ensure marsh habitat growth as sea level rises.
Napa River Restoration
- $894,324 to Napa County with partners Napa County Resource Conservation District (RCD), California Land Stewardship Institute and private landowners.
- Restoring habitat within the Napa River’s Oakville to Oak Knoll reach by widening the channel, enhancing the floodplain, and reducing bank erosion to improve water quality and salmon habitat.
Upper York Creek Dam Removal and Restoration
- $987,876 to City of St. Helena with partners California Department of Water Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, Napa County and Napa County RCD.
- Removing an earthen dam and fish passage barrier to open access to 1.5 miles of steelhead habitat and restoring a channel cross-section on Upper York Creek to reconnect the creek with the Napa River.
Clean Streams in Southern Sonoma County
- $991,156 to Sonoma County with partners City of Sonoma, Sonoma Ecology Center, Sonoma County Parks, Sonoma County Water Agency and private landowners.
- Reducing sediment and pathogen pollution in Sonoma Creek and Petaluma River watersheds and tracking project progress on improving water quality in Sonoma Creek.
San Francisco Bay, a designated “estuary of national significance” under the Clean Water Act, is recognized around the world for its natural beauty and ecological significance. The Bay and its tributaries provide vital fish and wildlife habitat within the Bay-Delta estuary which drains nearly half of California’s watersheds via the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.
Since 2008, EPA’s San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund has provided over $40 million in competitive grants for nearly 60 projects that are restoring water quality and wetlands, reducing polluted runoff, and greening development in San Francisco Bay and its watershed. These grantees and their partners represent a network of over 70 government agencies, resource conservation districts, land trusts, watershed groups, and non-profit organizations across the Bay Area’s nine counties.
EPA’s 54-page progress report on these investments and environmental results over the last six years has just been released to the public: http://www2.epa.gov/sfbay-delta/san-francisco-bay-water-quality-improvement-fund-progress-report-2008-2014
Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.