The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is making $40 million available to create habitats for salmon in the California Central Valley. The grant program is part of a federal effort to double the salmon population by 2025. Applications are due March 18, 2024.
The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is for the Central Valley Project Habitat & Facility Improvements program’s third year of awards. The program supports projects that the Central Valley Project Improvement Act’s (CVPIA) Near-Term Restoration Strategy prioritizes. The strategy is a five-year plan to double the number of fish migrating to spawn upstream by 2025.
Projects include building structures to provide habitats for salmon. This includes developing and modifying side channels and placing woody material, boulders and other structures. Other projects include creating and enhancing floodplain habitats and improving facilities by adding fish screens on diversions. These diversions prevent salmon from entering irrigation channels where they may die or become stranded.
California implements the program in the Central Valley, an 18-county area covering 20,000 square miles from Redding in North Sacramento Valley to Bakersfield in the Tulare Basin. The Central Valley rivers support three fall, spring and winter runs for salmon and trout.
Salmon habitats have dwindled over the years as humans have developed water resources and manipulated stream channels. People regularly moving gravel from river spawning areas has resulted in fewer usable rearing habitats, according to federal officials.
The program has a maximum award of up to $40 million. Eligible applicants include governments of special districts, counties, states, cities, townships and federally recognized Native American tribes. Some nonprofits – other than higher education institutions – are also eligible.
Application materials can only be viewed through the Grants.gov online portal.
Photo courtesy of UC Santa Cruz