Saturday, June 21, 2014

Charging for Coastal Services

Greetings!

As I delivered a solar power generator to Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods yesterday, to be used to bring electrical power to mountain meadows and campgrounds, I had a strange idea on how we might look at another policy decisions affecting the coast.

One of the most controversial issues facing the North Coast is the request from California's Parks and Recreation Department to install fee collection devices in parking areas along the coast to charge for automobile parking.  The fees are necessary because the state general funds  are being cut back by the Legislature, and parks are being required to raise funds locally to pay for operational costs.

Maintenance of restrooms in parking lots generates the bulk of the costs for which the parking fees are being introduced.  Elsewhere in the state, access to the coast is being maximized by installing controllable electronic fees collection devices which encourage turnover and minimize all-day parking.   Installation of these devices on the North Coast is made more difficult because few have electricity onsite.

What if we install solar power generators on top of the restrooms, and charge to use the restrooms?  My wife says the downside of this is that visitors might try to find somewhere else to relieve themselves.  One of the current arguments against charging to park is that visitors will find somewhere else to park.  So the question in my mind is: which is the greater harm?

And we create a mobile phone app which knows you bought a state parks annual pass.  Aim it at the restroom door, and it unlocks.  No onsite collection of fees.  A real incentive for buying a parks pass.  If we standardize the state, regional, and local pass privileges, all parks benefit.  And we can collect lots of good info on who is visiting our parks, and can let them now about all of our park activities in a timely manner.


   

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Coastal Protection at Torrey Pines in 1929

Greetings!

One of the first battles to save the California coast from the pressures of a development occurred in 1929 when local commercial interests urged building a high-speed highway through Torrey Pines City Park.  The proposed road was designed to bypass a narrow, winding grade which created a bottleneck on the major thoroughfare between San Diego and Los Angeles.  One scheme called for blasting away 1,700 feet of sea cliff for a straight, more gradual right-of-way from the beach to the mesa top.  Debris from the cutting in the new alignment was to be dumped onto the public beach.  One scenic canyon was to be crossed on an embankment of fill, and another spanned by a bridge.

Opposition to this proposal was led by The League to Save Torrey Pines Park.  Its members felt the best solution was to build a new road to the east via Sorrento Valley, skirting Torrey Pines altogether. In a brochure that addressed numerous reasons for preventing the road, the League answered its own rhetorical question, "Is the danger to the Park very pressing?" with the following blast: "So pressing that only an immediate and emphatic expression of public disapprobation can save the heritage of the people from a defilement which will bring upon its perpetrators the condemnation of generations yet unborn."  A compromise was reached in 1930, and a grade (old Highway 101, now North Torrey Pines Road) was cut through the upland instead of along the cliffs.  The region's modern freeway (Interstate 5) was eventually built east of Torrey Pines, following the route favored by the League 40 years earlier.

Follow the current efforts to protect the coast and continued access to it at the following websites:

Act Coastal
Coastwalk California
California Coastal Commission
California Coastal Conservancy



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Coastwalk's New Webpages

Greetings!

Coastwalk California has changed it's webpages, and the look is great.  Registration is now open for the 2014 Coastwalk season, and the re-design makes it even easier to sign up.  Improved mapping to the California Coastal Trail is coming, and be sure to keep an eye out for their assistance to your advocation for protecting access to the California coast.

Kudos to its young staffers, Hannah Faire Scott and Stephanie Picard-Colomb.

Gregory

Monday, December 30, 2013

Accomplishments of the California Coastal Conservancy

2008 Project Accomplishments

In 2008 the State Coastal Conservancy supported 147 projects along California’s coast and around San Francisco Bay with awards totaling more than $102 million. The Conservancy’s support for these projects is leveraging more than $178 million from the federal and local governments and private organizations. The funds are being used to protect natural lands, improve wildlife habitat, support local economies, and help people enjoy the coast and the Bay Area. The majority of the Conservancy’s funding came from resources bond acts approved by the State’s voters in 2000, 2002, and 2006.
To accomplish its goals the Conservancy relies on partnerships with local communities and more than 100 nonprofit organizations based in all parts of the coast and around San Francisco Bay. This network ensures that local residents inform the Conservancy about coastal needs and opportunities and are actively involved in the Conservancy’s work.
For Public Access along the length of the coast, the Conservancy:
• awarded $600,000 to Coastwalk to sign and map existing and new segments of the California Coastal Trail and to provide information about the trail to the public. The trail’s emblem will be placed on 300 miles of the trail and maps will be posted on Coastwalk’s website. The maps will assist in the planning for new trail segments. (November)
For Stewardship of Coastal Waters, the Conservancy:
• provided $600,000 to Trout Unlimited to prepare a feasibility study of water conservation recommendations for between five and eight key watersheds along California’s coast. Part of the study is being directed toward the design of agricultural water-storage facilities that would help maintain year-round instream flows for the benefit of salmon, steelhead trout, and other wildlife. (April)
SOUTH COAST
For the length of the South Coast, the Conservancy:
• provided $275,000 to the Department of Fish and Game for planning and permitting necessary for restoration of State Ecological Reserves at the Ballona Wetlands in Los Angeles and Buena Vista and San Elijo lagoons in northern San Diego County. The three reserves offer significant opportunities for improving some of the most important remaining wildlife habitats on the South Coast. (December)
• provided $50,000 to Environment Now to continue its management of the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project’s Local Assistance Program. The Program supports local organizations engaged in wetlands protection and restoration through technical assistance, regional coordination, and public outreach. (September)
For San Diego County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $680,000 to the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy for planning and permitting necessary for restoration of San Elijo Lagoon in Encinitas. The work will lead to improvements in the lagoon’s water circulation and wildlife habitat and provisions for long-term maintenance and management. Although severely degraded, the lagoon is a valuable component of the network of habitats for birds and fish along the South Coast. (December)
• approved use of $600,000 for planning and permitting necessary for restoration of Buena Vista Lagoon State Ecological Reserve in Carlsbad and Oceanside. Urban development around the lagoon has constricted its habitat, and flows of sediments that settle in the lagoon threaten its continued existence. The lagoon supports a wide diversity of wildlife and is a prized amenity to the community. (December)
• awarded $297,000 to the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon Foundation to continue periodic openings of the lagoon mouth at Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, adjacent to Torrey Pines State Reserve in the City of San Diego. The lagoon openings—funded by the Conservancy since 1985—are necessary to maintain water quality in the lagoon, which is home to several endangered and threatened species of wildlife. (April)
• awarded $425,000 to the Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association to study how sediments are transported in the coastal nearshore at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. The study will assist in the review of current policies regarding sediment discharge and deposition in California and may well lead to lower costs for restoration projects and better use of sediments for beach nourishment and other purposes. (September)
• granted $380,000 to the City of San Diego for final designs, permit applications, and environmental review for improvements to Sunset Cliffs Natural Park on the western edge of Point Loma. The proposed improvements include trail construction and repair, restoration of native plant communities, and control of water runoff that is severely eroding bluff terraces. (September)
• provided $238,000 to San Diego EarthWorks to complete a detailed assessment of the Rose Creek watershed in the City of San Diego and to develop alternatives for the watershed’s restoration. The watershed serves as a wildlife corridor between Poway and Mission Bay and is a major contributor of pollutants to the Bay. The grant follows $150,000 contributed by the Conservancy for the project in 2005. (January)
• granted $150,000 to the San Diego River Conservancy to prepare plans for a system of public trails in tributary canyons of the lower San Diego River in the City of San Diego. The new trails will replace hazardous, erosion-prone footpaths and provide upland communities with safe hiking and bicycle access to river amenities, including a community park being planned for the Qualcomm Stadium area. (June)
• awarded $76,000 to the San Diego State University Foundation to develop a plan for data collection and restoration in the San Diego River watershed. The goals of the plan are to identify causes of poor water quality, flooding, and habitat degradation and to engage individuals and organizations in the watershed’s restoration. (December)
• provided $22,000 to the Endangered Habitats Conservancy for planning and permitting necessary for the restoration of native plant communities in Swan Canyon in the City of San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood. As part of a larger goal of integrating the canyon into the life of the neighborhood, the project aims to replace invasive vegetation, particularly giant reed, with plants that are native to the area. (September)
For Orange County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $1 million to Crystal Cove Alliance to improve public access and recreational opportunities at the Crystal Cove Historic District of Crystal Cove State Park. Slated improvements include refurbishment of four cottages for an Educational Commons and two cottages for overnight rental, conversion of one cottage to a house museum and lifeguard station, addition of pathways, and restoration of Los Trancos Creek. (September)
• provided $854,000 to the City of Laguna Beach for its acquisition of two properties totaling 15 acres for addition to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. The purchases are the latest in a series of Conservancy-funded park additions since 2002 that have protected almost 250 acres of scenic wildlife habitat and added to the park’s extensive network of trails. (April and September)
• granted $120,000 to the Laguna Canyon Foundation for costs associated with future acquisitions of properties near Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park and for restoration of existing trails on recently acquired parkland properties in Laguna Beach. The parks are part of the 20,000-acre South Coast Wilderness Park system, a greenbelt surrounding the highly urban landscape between Newport Beach and Dana Point. (April)
For Los Angeles County, the Conservancy:
• provided $5.5 million to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes for its purchase of 219 acres of undeveloped land for addition to the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve. The purchase will protect wildlife habitat, provide trail connections and habitat links to existing portions of the Preserve, and further the City’s Natural Communities Conservation Plan. (September)
• awarded $1 million to the City of Los Angeles for a pilot program to manage stormwater in residential areas within the Ballona Creek watershed. The goal of the program is to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from residences and improve the quality of water flowing to Santa Monica Bay. The Conservancy also awarded $600,000 to the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation to prepare a historical ecological study of the watershed, identify locations and volumes of water flows, and complete plans for the Ballona Greenway. The studies and plan will help guide ongoing work to improve the watershed’s natural and recreational resources and water quality. (April)
• provided $675,000 to the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation to collect and review physical, chemical, and biological data and collect native seeds as part of the ongoing planning effort for restoration of the Ballona Wetlands south of Marina del Rey. The Conservancy also awarded $175,000 to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to complete final design and permit applications for access improvements that will open the perimeter of the wetlands to the general public. (June)
• provided $500,000 to the City of Los Angeles to retrofit one block of Riverdale Avenue, a residential street abutting the Los Angels River, with demonstration planters that will capture and infiltrate stormwater and urban runoff. The planters will help prevent polluted water from entering the river, contribute to groundwater recharge, improve neighborhood amenities, and serve as a model for infiltration technology standards being developed by the City. (June)
• provided $322,000 to Community Conservancy International for Phase II of the Green Solution Project. The goal of the project is to develop a network of parks and natural lands in which soil and plants capture and filter stormwater to reduce pollution entering Santa Monica Bay. (April)
• provided $268,000 to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy to restore wildlife habitat on the bluffs at Point Vicente and in McCarrell’s Canyon. Both projects will include the replacement of invasive plants with native vegetation to benefit wildlife and reduce soil erosion. (April)
• awarded $200,000 to the Los Angeles Conservation Corps to restore three acres of the El Segundo dunes and bluffs on either side of the Youth Development Center at Dockweiler Beach. The work will restore habitat for the endangered El Segundo blue butterfly and provide opportunities to increase public awareness of the area’s ecology. (April)
• awarded $250,000 to California State Parks for the Malibu Creek Environmental Restoration Study being prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The study will evaluate alternatives for removal of Rindge Dam, which blocks the migration of endangered southern steelhead trout to several miles of historic spawning habitat. (April)
• awarded $300,000 to Heal the Bay for its volunteer-based Stream Team program to restore wildlife habitat and collect information about water quality and biological conditions in the northern Santa Monica Bay watershed. The restoration is primarily being done within Malibu Creek State Park and Malibu Lagoon State Beach. (January)
• provided $53,000 to the Mountains Restoration Trust for removal and control of giant reed, Arundo donax, and other invasive plants along Malibu Creek. This will be the second phase of an effort that began in 2000 to eradicate the creek’s Arundo, which is one of the most significant causes of habitat degradation along Southern California rivers and streams. (January)
• provided $40,000 to Santa Monica Baykeeper to enlist the community in the restoration of Malibu Creek and Malibu Lagoon. Outreach efforts will inform local residents about the watershed’s environment to build public support for the larger restoration of the lagoon, which will begin in the summer of 2009. For hands-on participation, local volunteers—particularly middle and high school students—will be recruited to replace exotic vegetation with native plants along a portion of the creek. The Conservancy also augmented, by $20,000, a previous Conservancy grant to the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains for the first phase of the lagoon’s restoration, which began in 2006. (April and December)
• granted $100,000 to Santa Monica Baykeeper to restore a portion of Stone Canyon Creek on the UCLA campus. The restoration will use student and community volunteers to replace invasive plants with native vegetation and maintain one of the few natural areas remaining on the campus. (April)
• awarded $100,000 to California State Parks to perform surveys and habitat assessments aimed at restoring populations of the California red-legged frog, a threatened species, within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. (April)
• provided $75,000 to Access for All to prepare site designs and complete the planning for development of three public coastal accessways at Latigo Shores, Carbon Beach, and Las Tunas Beach in Malibu. This is the third Conservancy grant to AFA since 2004 to open pathways to Malibu beaches. (December)
• provided $28,000 to augment a previous Conservancy grant to the San Gabriel & Los Angeles Rivers Watershed Council for planning to enhance wildlife habitat and build trails along Compton Creek. The Conservancy has been working with the local community and conservation organizations since 2000 to improve habitat and public access along the creek, which flows to the Los Angeles River. (January)
For Ventura County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $5.25 million, including $750,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to The Nature Conservancy to purchase 228 acres for addition to the Santa Clara River Parkway. The purpose of the parkway is to protect farmland, manage floodwaters, and restore the natural environment along the lower 23 miles of Southern California’s largest river. (April)
• provided $4.5 million to the Ventura County Watershed Protection District to purchase the nine-acre Matilija Hot Springs property and design two bridge improvements in preparation for removal of the obsolete Matilija Dam. The dam’s removal will enable endangered southern steelhead trout to reach historic spawning and rearing habitat in the upper Ventura River watershed and allow downstream flows to carry sand for replenishment of coastal beaches. (June)
• provided $1.5 million to the City of San Buenaventura for the Surfers Point Managed Retreat Project, which will widen Surfers Point Beach and relocate its parking lot and bicycle path. Within the last 20 years portions of the popular beach, located at the mouth of the Ventura River, have eroded inland by as much as 60 feet. (June)
• awarded $96,000 to the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy to acquire and prepare a stewardship plan for the 53-acre Drapeau property on the Ventura River. The property contains valuable wildlife habitat, and its purchase is another step toward the protection of the river’s 15-mile corridor between Matilija Dam and the coast. (November)
CENTRAL COAST
For the length of the Central Coast, the Conservancy:
• provided $900,000 to the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County for Phase 3 of the Integrated Watershed Restoration Program in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Mateo counties. The IWRP, which began in 2003 in Santa Cruz County, established a voluntary, non-regulatory approach to watershed restoration by funding project designs and permit applications and forming a technical advisory committee drawn from federal, State, and local resource and permitting agencies. Phase 3 will introduce the highly successful program to San Mateo and Monterey counties and enable its continued operation in all three counties. (December)
• awarded $225,000 to the University of California, Santa Cruz, to investigate the effects of coastal contaminants and other human-caused stressors on California sea otters and identify reasons that sea otter populations are not expanding. Early mortality and low birth rates among otters have been observed in recent years, and evidence suggests that causes include infectious diseases, parasites, and toxins resulting from human-related activities. (September)
For Santa Barbara County, the Conservancy:
• contributed $1.27 million to the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County’s purchase of 143 acres of scenic dunes along Paradise Beach at Point Sal. The property is within an area particularly rich in native plant species and Native American cultural sites. The Land Conservancy intends to transfer the property to Santa Barbara County, which owns other park and conservation properties in the area. (January)
• awarded $538,000 to The Nature Conservancy to restore natural habitat, eradicate invasive species, and prevent the introduction of new invasive species on Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the eight Channel Islands off the coast. TNC began this multi-million-dollar effort in 1978 and recently announced a rebound in the population of the island’s endangered fox, one of 12 species on the island found nowhere else on earth. (December)
• provided $290,000 available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the Earth Island Institute for removal of fish barriers on Carpinteria Creek in the southern Santa Ynez Mountains. The creek’s watershed may offer the best opportunity in the region for restoring a significant run of endangered southern steelhead trout. The funding augments $510,000 awarded by the Conservancy in 2005. (September)
• granted $90,000 to Audubon California to plan for restoration of the lower Santa Ynez River and estuary on Vandenberg Air Force Base. The plan will identify the first phase of efforts to improve habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, and other wildlife, including the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher and southern steelhead trout. (September)
For San Luis Obispo County, the Conservancy:
• provided $5 million to the American Land Conservancy for its purchase of 2,400 acres known as Wild Cherry Canyon in the Irish Hills between Avila Beach and Port San Luis. The purchase will protect a variety of wildlife habitats, allow for a major expansion of Montana de Oro State Park, and provide the opportunity to build a critical link in the Coastal Trail. After the purchase, ALC will convey its interests to California State Parks in a phased transfer. (November)
• (1) granted $1 million to the Morro Coast Audubon Society to acquire an eight-acre property for addition to the Sweet Springs Nature Preserve on the south shore of Morro Bay; (2) authorized transfer to the Audubon Society of ten contiguous undeveloped lots owned by the Conservancy in the area; and (3) granted $100,000 to the Audubon Society to manage and restore these properties. The actions will expand the conservation of wetlands and protect water quality in the Morro Bay estuary. $500,000 of the Conservancy’s funding came from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Program. (January)
• provided $550,000 to the Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers to renovate the historic Point San Luis Lightstation and to reconstruct an accessway between the lightstation and a sandy beach. The work will significantly enhance educational opportunities and public access to the lightstation and surrounding area. (January)
• granted $250,000 to the City of Morro Bay for construction of a pedestrian and wheelchair-accessible boardwalk and bike path along the Morro Bay waterfront, extending from the City’s commercial district to Morro Rock and the south end of Morro Strand State Beach. The grant follows $500,000 awarded by the Conservancy for the project in 2004. (January)
• provided $100,000 to the Port San Luis Marine Institute to prepare and install marine education displays in the Avila Beach Marine Research and Education Center. The new displays—including shark and bat ray tanks—will bolster the Center’s growing stature as a community-based marine science research and education facility. The grant follows $120,000 awarded by the Conservancy for the Center in 2005. (January)
For Monterey County, the Conservancy:
• authorized use of $6 million, of which half will be contributed by California American Water, to develop final design plans and prepare permits for the removal of San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River, and awarded $120,000 to the Planning and Conservation League Foundation for the project. The obsolete dam poses a significant threat to downstream lives and property and is a barrier to the migration of steelhead trout. The Conservancy has been working since 2000 with California American Water, which owns the dam, and several government agencies and conservation organizations for the removal. (June and September)
• provided $500,000 to the Big Sur Land Trust for its purchase of the 12-acre McWhorter Property for addition to the Carmel River Parkway. The property contains portions of the river channel and forested floodplain and offers excellent opportunities for public access and habitat restoration. Long-term plans for the Parkway call for protection and restoration of lands within the river’s ecosystem, development of educational facilities, and installation of a trail network connected to neighboring public lands. (January)
• awarded $250,000 to the Big Sur Land Trust to prepare plans for the Lower Carmel River Floodplain Restoration Project. Key objectives of the project include restoring 90 acres of wildlife habitat in the river’s historic floodplain, recharging groundwater, reducing flood flows in urban areas, reconnecting the east and west sides of the floodplain, and improving the quality of water entering the Carmel River Lagoon. (June)
• authorized acceptance of an estimated $550,000 annually from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and award of these funds to the Elkhorn Slough Foundation to continue its work for the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. The foundation has been working since 1982 to protect and restore Elkhorn Slough, the largest estuary of Monterey Bay and one of the most ecologically rich environments in California. (December)
For Santa Cruz County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $7,180,000 to the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County for its purchase of four parcels totaling 486 acres along Watsonville Slough. The purchase will protect farmland and wildlife habitat and link two existing preserves in one of the Central Coast’s largest areas of freshwater wetlands. After the purchase, farming will continue on upland portions of the property and the remainder will be managed to benefit wildlife and improve water quality. (November)
• provided $1.5 million to the Wildlife Conservation Board for its purchase of the 64-acre Willow Canyon property near Aptos. The purchase will protect habitat for the endangered Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and several other rare and threatened species of animals and plants. (June)
• awarded $300,000 to the County to retrofit one Eureka Canyon Road culvert and replace another to restore fish passage in Shingle Mill Gulch, a tributary of Corralitos Creek. The work is part of a greater effort to retrofit several fish passage barriers in the Corralitos Creek watershed, which flows to the Pajaro River and supports one of the most robust runs of steelhead trout in the region. (June)
For the Coastside of San Mateo County, the Conservancy:
• provided $3 million to Peninsula Open Space Trust to construct and operate, for three years, a three-mile blufftop segment of the California Coastal Trail at Cowell Ranch and Purisima Farms, just south of Half Moon Bay. The trail will be accessible to pedestrians, bicycles, and wheelchairs and will extend southward from a small State beach to a planned parking/staging area near Highway One. (June)
• awarded $500,000 to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to build segments of the Mori Point Coastal Trail and restore wildlife habitat on National Park Service property in the City of Pacifica. The trail work will complete the construction, which began in 2007, of four miles of the California Coastal Trail and connecting trails at Mori Point, including long sections of trails that will be wheelchair accessible. (January)
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
For the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, the Conservancy:
• made $4,250,000 available for Phase I of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project, the largest tidal wetlands restoration project on the West Coast, plus an additional $300,000 for the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Study. The funding will support the first major restoration of the 15,100-acre salt ponds, for which planning has been underway since 2003. The shoreline study will identify additional opportunities for flood control, habitat restoration, and public access in the South Bay. (November)
• awarded a block grant of $3 million to the Association of Bay Area Governments for projects to extend and improve the San Francisco Bay Trail within the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The Conservancy also approved funding for Bay Trail projects in San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano counties—information about these projects is provided under the county listings below. Since 1998 the Conservancy has provided more than $21 million for Bay Trail projects along the shoreline of San Francisco Bay. (December)
• continued its support for the Bay Area Ridge Trail by approving projects to extend and improve the trail in San Mateo, Contra Costa, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, and Marin counties. Information about these projects is provided under the county listings below.
• made more than $2 million available to continue an aggressive effort to stem the spread of invasive Spartina, a type of fast-growing cordgrass that presents a serious threat to native wildlife habitat. The Conservancy has been working since 1999 to eradicate the noxious weed, which is now considered to be under control. $250,000 of the funding is available from the State Wildlife Conservation Board. (April and September)
• awarded $360,000 to Greenbelt Alliance to complete the Upland Habitat Goals report, update the Transit to Outdoors map, conduct workshops to improve the effectiveness of San Francisco Bay Area land conservation and stewardship measures, and further the natural resource and recreational goals of the San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy Program. (April)
• awarded $225,000 to the San Francisco Estuary Institute for non-native oyster eradication in San Francisco Bay. The eradication effort began in 2006, when the fast-growing exotic oyster Crassostrea gigas was found in both southern and northern parts of the Bay. The establishment and spread of the oyster could seriously harm native habitats and food webs and interfere with habitat restoration. (June)
• provided $165,000 to the San Francisco Estuary Institute to study the feasibility of, and develop recommendations for, treating or removing creosote-treated pilings and similar structures in San Francisco Bay. The pilings are a source of environmental contaminants and can be a navigation hazard, but they also serve as bird perches and some have historical interest. The work is supporting the San Francisco Bay Subtidal Habitat Goals Project. (April)
• provided $100,000 to the Association of Bay Area Governments to organize and present the State of the Estuary Conference in the fall of 2009. The biennial, three-day conference brings together scientists, managers, interest groups, and the public to address the protection and restoration of the Bay-Delta Estuary. (December)
• granted $45,000 to the Coastal Conservancy Association to provide technical scientific services to the San Francisco Bay Subtidal Habitat Goals Project. The project is a public and private effort to establish a long-term management vision for the protection, restoration, and use of San Francisco Bay’s underwater habitats. The funding will be used to support members of the project’s science and restoration committees. (December)
• augmented by $20,000 an existing contract for environmental review of the plan for the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail, a proposed network of access sites enabling people in non-motorized boats to enjoy single- and multiple-day trips in San Francisco Bay. The Conservancy also awarded $20,000 to the Association of Bay Area Governments to prepare plans for water trail signs. (April)
For San Francisco, the Conservancy:
• provided $1 million to the California State Parks Foundation to restore tidal wetlands and other bay shoreline habitats at Yosemite Slough in the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area. The project aims to improve the site’s degraded fish and wildlife habitat in conjunction with improvements to parkland adjacent to residential neighborhoods. The funding comes from the Wildlife Conservation Board and follows more than $3 million provided by the Conservancy and WCB in 2006. (December)
• awarded $500,000 to The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District to design improvements to the Golden Gate Bridge South Visitor Plaza, which serves many of the estimated 10 million annual visitors to the bridge. The District is working to improve the plaza’s restrooms, pedestrian and bicycle pathways, and landscaping at the site, which marks the convergence of three major trail systems—the California Coastal Trail, the San Francisco Bay Trail, and the Bay Area Ridge Trail. (December)
• awarded $204,000 to The Exploratorium to pave a 720-foot pathway and construct a wheelchair-accessible ramp to the wave organ next to the San Francisco Marina Yacht Harbor. Installed in 1986 at the end of the harbor’s jetty, the wave organ is a popular acoustic sculpture that creates sounds dependent on the site’s tides, weather, and water conditions. The access improvements are part of an overall renovation of the organ being conducted by The Exploratorium. (June)
For Bayside and Inland San Mateo County, the Conservancy:
• provided $7.5 million to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District for its acquisition of the 1,000+ acre Mindego Hill property near La Honda. The property offers spectacular ocean views and opportunities for many miles of public trails, and contains wildlife habitat that includes streams, spring-fed lakes, and seasonal wetlands. Peninsula Open Space Trust purchased the property in 2007. (April)
• awarded $243,000 to the City of Brisbane to acquire five parcels totaling more than six acres on the upper slopes of San Bruno Mountain. The properties are home to endangered butterflies and are now part of a 74-acre natural area being restored by the city and its partners. The Conservancy has worked with the City to protect undeveloped lots on the mountain since 2001. (April)
• provided $250,000 to the San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Foundation for design and installation of environmental education exhibits at a new Interpretive Center at the Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve. The exhibits will convey information about the preserve’s geologic and biological significance and the stewardship needed to maintain its environmental resources. (June)
• granted $150,000 to Redwood City for design, fabrication, and installation of interactive exhibits for the Redwood Shores Community Library Interpretive Center on Belmont Slough. The exhibits will highlight three natural habitats—mud, water, and air—of southern San Francisco Bay. (April)
• awarded $185,000 to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to prepare plans, engineering designs, and environmental documents for the Southern Skyline Trail, a 4.7-mile segment of the Bay Area Ridge Trail within the upper Crystal Springs watershed east of Highway 35. The trail will open the southern watershed ridge lands to the public and join with existing trails to link parklands north and south of the watershed. The trail will be open to hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians during daylight hours, and a portion is expected to be wheelchair accessible. (June)
• authorized the Association of Bay Area Governments to use $152,000 from an earlier Conservancy block grant to reconstruct a portion of the San Francisco Bay Trail through the Coyote Point Recreation Area. The 1.2-mile portion of the trail will be resurfaced, realigned, and widened, making it safer and more accessible. (April)
For Santa Clara County, the Conservancy:
• granted $4.3 million to the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority for its purchase of 868 acres of the Blair Ranch near Morgan Hill for addition to the Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve. The acquisition is an important step in protecting the natural character of the County’s southwestern foothills, one of the most rapidly developing regions in the Bay Area, and providing an extensive network of public trails. The Authority will reimburse the Conservancy $2 million of its grant within three years. (January)
• provided $150,000 to the City of San José to construct a one-third-mile segment of the San Francisco Bay Area Ridge Trail along Penitencia Creek in the City’s Berryessa District. The construction will transform an informal dirt pathway into a wheelchair-accessible pedestrian and bicycle trail that will connect to other trails and provide access to transit, schools, and retail and residential areas. (June)
• authorized the Association of Bay Area Governments to use $63,000 from an earlier Conservancy block grant to build a 2.4-mile segment of the San Francisco Bay Trail near Moffett Field through the Alviso Pond complex of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The construction is an interim action designed to provide immediate public access to the area until a permanent trail is built on a future flood-control levee. (April)
• authorized the Association of Bay Area Governments to award $59,000 from an earlier Conservancy block grant to Environmental Volunteers for construction of a segment of the San Francisco Bay Trail in the Palo Alto Baylands. Two parallel, 370-foot pathways—for pedestrians and bicycles—will run on either side of the historic Sea Scout Ecocenter and link existing portions of the trail. (November)
For Alameda County, the Conservancy:
• provided $9 million to the City of Oakland to widen the Lake Merritt channel, create a tidal marsh along the channel’s edges, and install facilities to remove trash and other pollutants from waters flowing to the lake. The improvements will greatly improve the lake’s water quality, increase the numbers and diversity of the lake’s birds and other wildlife, and enable non-motorized boats to travel between San Francisco Bay and the lake. The funding comes from the Wildlife Conservation Board. (December)
• awarded $600,000 to the Tri-Valley Conservancy for its purchase of the 74-acre Bobba property in the South Livermore Valley area. The purchase offers excellent opportunities for new trails linking Del Valle State Park, Sycamore Grove Regional Park, Veterans Park, and Camp Arroyo. (December)
• authorized the Association of Bay Area Governments to provide the City of Oakland with $400,000 from an earlier Conservancy block grant to construct two segments of the San Francisco Bay Trail along the Oakland Estuary. One segment will connect Union Point Park to Dennison Street/Coast Guard Island Bridge, passing by the Cryer Boathouse. The other segment will connect the ends of Derby Avenue and Lancaster Street between the Park Street and Fruitvale bridges. Each segment will be about 450 feet long and both will be wheelchair-accessible. (June)
• authorized the Association of Bay Area Governments to provide the City of San Leandro with $300,000 from an earlier Conservancy block grant to construct a San Francisco Bay Trail crossing over San Leandro Slough and extend a nearby section of the trail. The slough crossing—a 350-foot-long wheelchair-accessible steel bridge—will close a critical gap in the Bay Trail, linking sections that run along the edges of Oyster Bay Shoreline Park and the Oakland International Airport. (September)
For Contra Costa County, the Conservancy:
• provided $1.4 million to the East Bay Regional Park District for its acquisition of the 333-acre Chaparral Spring property, which borders Mt. Diablo State Park and the District’s Clayton Ranch on Marsh Creek Road. The highly scenic property contains valuable wildlife habitat and offers significant opportunities to expand the area’s network of hiking trails. (September)
• provided $515,000 to the Muir Heritage Land Trust to restore portions of Rodeo, Fern, and Slot creeks on the Fernandez Ranch near Hercules and construct 1.4 miles of the Bay Area Ridge Trail and a parking/staging area on the ranch. The creek work will improve wildlife habitat and stabilize banks along 2,800 feet of stream corridors and the trail will become part of a system of ranch trails connecting to neighboring parklands on Franklin Ridge. (June)
• granted $150,000 to the City of Concord to complete a 600-foot gap in the historic California Riding and Hiking Trail by installing a 74-foot-long pedestrian bridge over Galindo Creek at Ygnacio Valley Road and extending a nearby section of the trail. The gap is the last uncompleted section of the trail, which runs for 20 miles between the Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline and Lime Ridge Open Space Preserve on the east side of Walnut Creek. (September)
• awarded $97,000 to the City of Richmond to construct a 465-foot-long segment of the San Francisco Bay Trail along Canal Boulevard, connecting two existing portions of the trail that run along Canal Boulevard and Seacliff Drive. The award follows $53,000 for planning provided by the Conservancy in 2007. (November)
For lands straddling Contra Costa and Solano Counties, the Conservancy:
• provided $100,000 to the Delta Protection Commission to develop the first phase of the Great California Delta Trail Plan. Envisioned is a hiking and biking trail through the shoreline areas of Contra Costa and Solano counties that would link the San Francisco Bay Trail to planned Sacramento River trails. (September)
For Solano County, the Conservancy:
• contributed $242,000 to the City of Benicia’s construction of a new pedestrian and bicycle overcrossing at the Rose Drive/State Park Road overpass of Interstate 780 to enable safe passage by users of the San Francisco Bay Trail and the Bay Area Ridge Trail. The project will provide a much-improved connection for the trails between Benicia and Vallejo and to points north. (September)
• contributed $150,000 to the City of Fairfield for construction of a segment of the Bay Area Ridge Trail along 1.65 miles of McGary Road, which parallels Interstate 80 but was closed in 1998 due to a landslide. The project will open a safe route for bicyclists and pedestrians between Fairfield and the end point of the Solano Bikeway at the Vallejo city limits. (September)
• authorized the Association of Bay Area Governments to provide $200,000 from an earlier Conservancy block grant to the Greater Vallejo Recreation District, and added $75,000 to that award for construction of San Francisco Bay Trail and Bay Area Ridge Trail segments in Glen Cove Waterfront Park in southern Vallejo. The new pedestrian/bicycle trails will be important components of the planned 50-mile Carquinez Scenic Loop Trail, which will run on both sides of the Carquinez Strait and pass over the Carquinez and Benicia-Martinez bridges. (September)
For lands straddling Solano and Napa Counties, the Conservancy:
• awarded $350,000 to the California Land Stewardship Institute to restore wildlife habitat along Suisun Creek and two of its tributaries, White and Wooden Valley Creeks, whose waters flow from southeastern Napa County to Suisun Marsh. The 53-square-mile Suisun Creek watershed is considered one of the most promising San Francisco Bay drainages for restoration of steelhead trout habitat. (June)
• granted $55,000 to the Solano Transportation Authority to prepare a multi-jurisdiction plan for regional trails, including portions of the Bay Area Ridge Trail, along and across State Route 12 between Interstate 80 and State Route 29 in the Jameson Canyon area. The Authority will consult with local park and transportation agencies, Caltrans, and private landowners about feasible trail routes and will develop preliminary cost estimates and a funding strategy for building the trails. (June)
For Napa County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $1.65 million to the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District for its acquisition of the 673-acre Moore Creek property near Lake Hennessey. The property contains diverse plant and wildlife habitats and offers excellent opportunities for public trails and the County’s first new group and family camping facility in 30 years. (September)
• contributed $1 million to the Land Trust of Napa County’s acquisition of the 1,000-acre Duff Ranch near Calistoga. The rugged, scenic property contains valuable wildlife habitat and links Robert Louis Stevenson State Park to the 3,000+ acre Wildlake Ranch purchased by the Land Trust in 2006. The Conservancy also provided $250,000 to the Land Trust to prepare an interim plan for management of natural resources and public access on the three properties. (April)
• awarded $600,000 to Save-the-Redwoods League for its acquisition of interests in the Smith-Madrone property, adjacent to Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. The League will acquire 55 acres of the property plus a conservation easement over 65 acres. The purchase will protect forested wildlife habitat and the headwaters of Ritchie Creek, prevent the conversion of farmland to residential development, and provide an opportunity for new trails leading to the State Park. The League expects eventually to transfer its fee interests to California State Parks. (January)
• provided $485,000 to the University of California for its acquisition of 157 acres for inclusion in the Quail Ridge Reserve on Lake Berryessa’s south shore. The purchase will help prevent development in the area, which contains some of the last intact native grasslands in northern California along with oak woodlands and chaparral. The UC Natural Reserve System manages the reserve for habitat protection and University-sponsored research and teaching. (January)
• granted $83,000 to the Napa County Resource Conservation District to develop plans for removing barriers to fish passage at 21 sites in the Napa River basin. The barriers block or impede the migration of chinook salmon and steelhead trout to historic spawning and rearing habitats. (November)
• granted $25,000 to the San Francisco Estuary Institute to develop the Napa Historical Ecology Atlas. The atlas will synthesize hundreds of historical data sources into information needed to plan for the restoration, enhancement, and protection of wildlife habitats within the Napa River watershed. (April)
For Bayside and Inland Sonoma County, the Conservancy:
• contributed $1.5 million toward the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District’s purchase of 283 acres on the summit of Sonoma Mountain. The property contains oak woodlands, redwood forests, grasslands, and other wildlife habitats and offers distant views of the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Nevada. The purchase links the neighboring Jack London State Park to hundreds of acres of other protected lands on the mountain. (December)
• awarded $700,000 to the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation to construct the Laguna Interpretive Center at the Laguna de Santa Rosa near Sebastopol. The interpretive center will house educational programs about the Laguna and serve as the centerpiece of the Laguna Learning Center site, which is being developed as the gateway to the Laguna. The Laguna is the largest freshwater wetlands complex and the most biologically diverse area of the County. (November)
• provided $575,000 to the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District to construct 4¼ miles of the Bay Area Ridge Trail on Sonoma Mountain westward from Jack London State Historic Park, plus a half-mile spur trail to the Bennett Valley overlook. The trails will greatly expand the public’s access to unique wildlife habitats and the panoramic views available on the mountain’s north slope. The construction follows several years of property acquisitions by the District on the mountain and a 2005 Conservancy planning grant for the trail. (April)
For Bayside and Inland Marin County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $150,000 to the Marin Municipal Water District to restore wildlife habitat and improve public access to a section of Lagunitas Creek off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in the watershed of Mount Tamalpais. The project site includes the Leo Cronin Fish Viewing Area, the Bay Area’s most popular spot for viewing salmon during the spawning season. (April)
• granted $95,000 to the Marin Audubon Society to complete the restoration of wetlands at Bahia Lagoon in Novato. The 375-acre site, purchased in 2003, contains tidal and seasonal wetlands adjacent to oak woodlands and other protected wildlife habitats. The Wildlife Conservation Board will reimburse the Conservancy for its contribution, which will fill a critical funding gap. (November)
NORTH COAST
For the length of the North Coast, the Conservancy:
• awarded $500,000 to the Northwest California Resource Conservation and Development Council for the design and permitting of at least ten fish passage improvement projects and five associated water quality improvement projects in Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity, and Siskiyou counties. The projects will follow similar work that has improved habitat and removed migratory barriers to many miles of historic spawning and rearing habitat for coastal salmon and steelhead trout. (December)
For the Coastside of Marin County, the Conservancy:
• provided $385,000 to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to reconstruct the portion of the Dias Ridge Trail lying within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area just east of Muir Beach. The trail is a segment of the Bay Area Ridge Trail that connects Panoramic Highway to Shoreline Highway/Hwy 1 and offers spectacular vistas of Mount Tamalpais and the ocean. The new trail will be accessible to hikers and bicyclists, and a new trailhead at Golden Gate Dairy will greatly improve visitor safety and orientation. (June)
• awarded $230,000 to the National Park Service to construct additional visitor and staff accommodations at the Point Reyes Hostel and to bring the hostel buildings into compliance with current health and safety codes. The improvements will add 12 low-cost visitor beds to the current 44-bed capacity and enable the hostel, which is currently closed for part of the day between October and May, to remain open during daylight hours throughout the year. (September)
• granted $185,000 to the County to replace side-by-side culverts where Carson Road crosses Woodacre Creek with a wider, naturalized structure that will allow coho salmon and steelhead trout to reach 3,800 feet of good quality spawning and rearing habitat. The new structure will handle floodwaters better than the existing culverts and is enthusiastically supported by the neighboring landowners in the town of Woodacre. (June)
• awarded $109,000 to the Tomales Bay Watershed Council to prepare a restoration plan for lower Third Valley Creek and Chicken Ranch Beach in the town of Inverness. The plan will aim to improve water quality and wildlife habitat and to reduce erosion at the county-owned beach. (April)
• granted $100,000 to the County to prepare a plan to restore the watershed of San Geronimo Creek, a tributary of Lagunitas Creek that contains some of the region’s best habitat for coho salmon and steelhead trout. The plan will be directed primarily at the creek’s upper watershed, where fish habitat is threatened by erosion and sedimentation, stormwater runoff, invasive species, and encroaching development. (June)
• granted $85,000 to the Point Reyes National Seashore for its Helping Hands Restoration Project to reduce erosion, construct livestock fencing, and carry out associated educational programs in the Tomales Bay watershed. The restoration aims to reduce the flow of pollution into Olema Creek and Tomales Bay. Part of the work will be done through the Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed (“STRAW”) environmental education program, which involves the participation of students from local schools. (January)
For the Coastsides of Marin and Sonoma Counties, the Conservancy:
• awarded $639,000 to Ocean Song Farm and Wilderness Center to undertake a feasibility study for improvement of about 100,000 acres of endangered coastal prairie habitat. Coastal prairies support the highest plant diversity of all North American grasslands, and less than 10% of native coastal prairies remain between Big Sur and the Oregon coast. The study will include restoration of 35 acres on five sites to develop recommendations for future stewardship. (June)
• provided $155,000 to the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District to improve water quality in the Estero Americano watershed through pasture and manure management improvements on five dairies. The improvements follow years of outreach, planning, and initial improvements on several local dairies and will support the economic viability of the region’s dairy industry. (September)
For the Coastside of Sonoma County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $495,000 to the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District to restore fish passage to 3.4 miles of Dutch Bill Creek, improve the creek’s habitat for fish and wildlife, and install an 80-foot pedestrian bridge across the creek at Camp Meeker. Coho salmon and steelhead trout from the Russian River will be able to reach historic nursery and rearing habitat on the creek after removal of a dam in Camp Meeker and retrofitting of a culvert at Market Street in Occidental. (September)
• provided $290,000 to the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center to analyze water supply and demand in the Salmon Creek watershed, design a set of water conservation strategies, implement water conservation demonstration programs tailored for small coastal communities, and complete design and permitting for a large woody debris habitat enhancement project in the Salmon Creek Estuary. The project continues the Conservancy’s comprehensive approach to planning for improvements in the watershed that began in 2003. (April)
• granted $262,000 to the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District to improve critical habitat for coho salmon and steelhead trout in Austin Creek, a tributary of the Russian River. The funding will be used for the planning and design of improvements to control sediment that washes into the creek and degrades fish habitat, continuing the RCD’s longstanding work with landowners to restore healthy populations of fish in the area. (September)
• provided $200,000 to the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department for preliminary design and environmental documentation for a three-mile section of the California Coastal Trail in the community of Timber Cove between Fort Ross State Historic Park and Stillwater Cove Regional Park. The design work will include outreach to the community to identify potential trail alignments that address the needs and concerns of local residents. (December)
• awarded $125,000 to the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District to work with landowners and prepare a watershed plan to improve fish habitat in Green Valley Creek, a tributary to the Russian River located between Occidental and Forestville. The creek’s fish habitat has severely deteriorated over the last several decades from sediment eroding from neighboring properties, but it still supports salmon and steelhead populations and offers excellent restoration opportunities. (January)
For Mendocino County, the Conservancy:
• provided $370,000 to the Mendocino Land Trust for its purchase and initial management of the six-acre Hare Creek Beach property just south of Fort Bragg on Highway 1. The purchase will enable the land trust to open and manage a public pathway to a sandy beach on a beautiful ocean cove, add a mile to the California Coastal Trail, and manage critical fish and wildlife habitats that are currently degraded by unregulated public use and invasive non-native vegetation. (September)
• authorized Trinity County’s Five Counties Salmonid Conservation Program to use $105,000 from an earlier Conservancy block grant to remove a barrier to fish-passage in Ancestor Creek, a tributary of the Mattole River, at Briceland Road. A new bridge will replace culverts that prevent coho salmon and steelhead trout from reaching more than two miles of high-quality spawning and rearing habitat. (September)
• awarded $31,000 to the City of Fort Bragg for trail, fencing, and signage improvements along three public access easements at Pomo Bluffs Park above Noyo Harbor. The improvements will include a new pedestrian and bicycle accessway to the park from Highway 1 near the south end of the Noyo Bridge. (June)
• granted $24,000 to the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy to assist with operation and maintenance of the Gualala Bluff segment of the California Coastal Trail in Gualala. The funding will support the work of a large number of volunteers who have been maintaining the popular trail, which offers panoramic ocean views directly behind the town’s commercial district. (June)
• provided $41,000 to the Coastal Land Trust to facilitate the transfer of about 74 public access easements from the American Land Conservancy to local nonprofit organizations and public agencies. Several organizations are interested in obtaining specific easements, and the funding will help the land trust manage those easements that are not accepted by other entities. (June)
• awarded $10,000 to the Moat Creek Managing Agency to operate and maintain public access improvements at Moat Creek Beach and along the Moat Creek segment of the California Coastal Trail south of Point Arena. The sites were created as part of an early and successful Conservancy effort to reduce the density of the Whiskey Shoals subdivision for the protection of scenic natural and recreational lands. (June)
• revised the Gualala Access Trails project approved by the Conservancy in May 2005 by eliminating the planned construction of cable steps and trail improvements to the beach at St. Orres Creek and adding construction of a trail and one or two viewing platforms with interpretive panels above the creek. A study of geological conditions made it apparent that the beach trail would be unsafe, but the revised construction will still enable visitors to reach a highly scenic beach overlook. (January)
For Humboldt County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $1,065,000 to the City of Arcata for final designs, environmental review, and permitting for the Arcata Coastal Rail with Trail project, which aims to build a 3.8-mile section of the California Coastal Trail between northern Arcata and Bracut Marsh, one mile south of the City. The proposed route of the pedestrian/bicycle trail would lie within or near the North Coast Railroad Authority right-of-way, with its southern section running close to Highway 101 near the shoreline of Humboldt Bay. (September)
• provided $900,000 to the Redwood Community Action Agency for the first phase of the Humboldt County Coastal Trail Program, enabling the Agency to assess the trail’s current alignment, prioritize and design potential projects to close existing gaps, and coordinate efforts of the many agencies and organizations working to create a continuous trail along the county’s coastline. About 90 miles of the California Coastal Trail in the county are in place, but an additional 64 miles need to be constructed or substantially improved. (September)
• provided $975,000 to the Friends of the Dunes to construct the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, creating a “gateway to the dunes” on the North Spit of Humboldt Bay, and to purchase two properties totaling 53 acres in the area. The center—scheduled for completion in 2010—will include visitor services and educational facilities and provide the public with a convenient entry to more than 1,000 acres of protected coastal dunes along four miles of the coast. Earlier Conservancy funding contributed to the protection of much of this area. (April, June, and September)
• awarded $770,000 to the Northcoast Regional Land Trust for its purchase of a 77-acre portion of the McNamara Dairy on Redwood Creek in Orick. The purchase will allow the restoration of highly degraded salmon and steelhead habitat while protecting farmland and providing for the continuance of a viable agricultural operation. (November)
• authorized acceptance of $150,000 in federal grant funds and use of $175,000, including a grant to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for Phase I of the Humboldt Bay Regional Invasive Spartina Eradication Project. The goal of the project is to develop a regional plan to eradicate invasive Spartina, a cordgrass that threatens the native plant and wildlife communities of tidal marshes in the estuaries of Humboldt Bay, the Eel River, and the Mad River. (June)
• accepted the Access Management Plan prepared by the Yurok Tribe for the 12½-acre Tsurai Village Site and awarded a grant of $30,000 to the City of Trinidad to manage creek runoff and hillside drainage that enters the site. The Tribe prepared the plan, using Conservancy funds, to help resolve land-use conflicts and improve the site’s management. The City will use the grant to install drainage improvements that will protect public trails and cultural resources. (June)
• authorized the Redwood Region Audubon Society to accept an open space easement offered by the City of Eureka ensuring the conservation of a 15-acre property adjacent to Humboldt Bay. The offer of the easement was a condition to the Conservancy’s funding for the City’s purchase of the adjacent Palco Marsh in 1985. (June)
For Del Norte County, the Conservancy:
• provided $641,000 to the County to construct almost two miles of the California Coastal Trail along Pebble Beach Drive just north of Crescent City. The pedestrian/bicycle trail will travel along a highly scenic part of the coast and connect to an existing bike path within the City. (June)
• awarded $100,000 to the Yurok Tribe to prepare a plan for public access in and around the Klamath River estuary. The funding will help the Tribe develop a river transit system and a trail network with interpretive signs highlighting the natural setting, Yurok traditions, and the Tribe’s conservation activities. (April)
• provided $164,000 to Smith River Alliance, working with Tolowa Dunes Stewards, to complete surveys and permitting prior to restoration of dune habitats in Tolowa Dunes State Park and Lake Earl Wildlife Area and to develop a public access strategy for Tolowa Dunes, Lake Earl Wildlife Area, and Point Saint George. The work will lead to improvements of natural areas, protection of cultural sites, and enhanced public access between Point St. George and the mouth of the Smith River. (June)
For Trinity County, the Conservancy:
• authorized Trinity County’s Five Counties Salmonid Conservation Program to use $160,000 from an earlier Conservancy block grant to retrofit two roadway culverts that are barriers to fish-passage in Conner Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River near Junction City. The existing culverts block passage to about 2½ miles of spawning and rearing habitat for coho salmon and steelhead trout. (September)
For the Klamath River Watershed, the Conservancy:
• augmented an existing contract by $150,000 to further study the likely water-quality and biological effects of removing dams on the Klamath River and to summarize that and other information in a comprehensive dam-removal plan. Earlier studies commissioned by the Conservancy indicated that removal of four dams on the river was feasible and affordable, and additional studies are underway to analyze the potential effects of dam removal on downstream habitats and existing reservoirs. (January)


2009 Project Accomplishments

The Coastal Conservancy’s ability to provide financial support for projects was severely curtailed in 2009 because of limitations on use of bond funds resulting from the State’s budget crisis. Nevertheless, during the year the Conservancy received more than $27 million in federal appropriations for its projects together with approvals for more than $51 million of economic stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, most of which will be put to use before the end of 2010. Funding from the federal government and other sources enabled the Conservancy to provide new support in 2009 for 22 projects along California’s coast and around San Francisco Bay with awards totaling more than $30 million. The projects are providing jobs, supporting local economies, protecting natural lands, improving wildlife habitat, and helping people enjoy the coast and the Bay Area.
The year began with a near-complete freeze on funds originating from State bonds, which put a halt to most Conservancy projects. As the year progressed, limited bond funds began to be released and work gradually resumed on many projects—more than 100 by the end of the year. Bond funds for new projects, however, remained frozen throughout 2009.
The Conservancy continues to support its existing projects to the extent possible and is planning for new projects when State funding again becomes available. To accomplish its goals the Conservancy relies on partnerships with local communities and more than 100 nonprofit organizations based in all parts of the coast and around San Francisco Bay. This network ensures that local residents inform the Conservancy about coastal needs and opportunities and are actively involved in the Conservancy’s work.
SOUTH COAST
For San Diego County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $4.84 million to the Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association and $297,000 to the Port of San Diego for restoration of the South San Diego Bay Wetlands. The goal of the project is to restore the natural ecology of 225 acres of salt ponds at the southwest end of the bay. Most of the bay’s wetlands habitats have been lost to development, but what remains supports tens of thousands of resident and migratory birds and many varieties of fish and other wildlife. Most of the Conservancy’s funding is available from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grant and a federal economic stimulus award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (June and October)
• awarded $960,000, available from the San Diego Association of Governments, to the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy for planning and permitting necessary for restoration of San Elijo Lagoon in Encinitas. The work will lead to improvements in the lagoon’s water circulation and wildlife habitat and establishment of a long-term management program. Although severely degraded, the lagoon is a valuable component of the network of habitats for birds and fish along the South Coast. (February)
• approved use of $540,000, available from the San Diego Association of Governments, for planning and permitting necessary for restoration of Buena Vista Lagoon State Ecological Reserve in Carlsbad and Oceanside. Urban development around the lagoon has constricted its habitats, and flows of sediments that settle in the lagoon threaten its continued existence. Despite these impairments, the lagoon supports a wide diversity of wildlife and is a prized amenity to the community. The funding supplements $600,000 the Conservancy made available for the restoration in 2008. (April)
• awarded $195,000 of federal stimulus funds to the Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association for its study on how sediments are transported in the coastal nearshore at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. The study will assist in the review of current policies regarding sediment discharge and deposition in California and may well lead to lower costs for restoration projects and better use of sediments for beach nourishment and other purposes. The award augmented more than $750,000 provided by the Conservancy for the project in 2007 and 2008. (September)
For Orange County, the Conservancy:
• granted $26,000 to Orange County Coastkeeper to maintain the Conservancy’s public access easement at Portofino Cove in Huntington Harbour. The easement allows the public to use a sidewalk that runs along the Harbour’s main channel between Seabridge Park and a public parking lot. The Conservancy also authorized transfer of that easement and another public access easement, not yet open to the public, in the Harbour to Orange County Coastkeeper, which has managed the Portofino Cove easement since 2007. (February and June)
For Los Angeles County, the Conservancy:
• provided $25,000 to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) for work that will lead to construction of a public stairway leading from Malibu Road to Amarillo and Malibu Colony beaches in the City of Malibu. The Conservancy further directed that ownership of the underlying property be transferred from the Conservancy to MRCA. The Conservancy acquired the property in 2002 and since that time has been planning to build a stairway there. (June)
• awarded $25,000 to Los Angeles Forum to conduct public access educational tours in Malibu. Los Angeles Forum will support an existing program of the Los Angeles Urban Rangers through which visitors are taken on “safaris” to under-utilized beaches and taught how to identify and reach easements that allow use by the public. The program includes printed guides that map the location of public accessways and provide additional information useful to beach-goers. (June)
CENTRAL COAST
For the length of the Central Coast, the Conservancy:
• awarded $94,000 from the California sea otter tax check-off fund to the University of California, Santa Cruz, for the second phase of an investigation into the effects of coastal contaminants and other human-caused stressors on California sea otters. Early mortality and low birth rates among otters have been observed in recent years, and evidence suggests that causes include infectious diseases, parasites, and toxins resulting from human-related activities. In this phase of the study, two separate otter populations will be examined: one in Monterey Bay, where the water is relatively contaminated, and the other in Big Sur, where the water is more pristine. (December)
For Santa Cruz County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $210,000, available from the federal Coastal Impact Assistance Program, to the nonprofit organization Save Our Shores for its community-based beach and marine debris prevention and removal program. The program benefits the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and targets the watersheds of the Pajaro and San Lorenzo rivers and Arana Gulch. The funding follows $100,000 that the Conservancy awarded in 2007 for the program’s development. (April)
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
For the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, the Conservancy:
• made almost $6.9 million of federal funding available for Phase I of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project, the West Coast’s largest tidal wetlands restoration project. The funding is supporting work at three sites in the 15,100-acre salt ponds purchased by the State and federal governments in 2003. The work is being done by Ducks Unlimited, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, and Alameda County and the funding is available from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grant and an economic stimulus award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (June and September)
• made almost $1.9 million of federal funding available for the aggressive effort to stem the spread of invasive Spartina, a type of fast-growing cordgrass that threatens native wildlife habitats in the Bay. The Conservancy has been working since 1999 to eradicate the noxious weed, which is now considered to be under control. The federal funding included a $1.7 million award of economic stimulus funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plus additional funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (April and June)
For Alameda County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $100,000 of Caltrans mitigation funds to the East Bay Regional Park District to study alternative strategies for restoring sand dunes and building trails and other improvements at Albany Beach, on the west side of Golden Gate Fields in Eastshore State Park. Although the Albany Beach dunes resulted from human-placed fill, they are thought to be similar to San Francisco Bay’s historic dunes, almost all of which have been lost to development. As such, they may offer opportunities for the continued survival of rare native plants that require dune habitats. (September)
For Contra Costa County, the Conservancy:
• authorized the Association of Bay Area Governments to award $150,000 from an earlier Conservancy block grant to the East Bay Regional Park District for construction of a 1.1-mile segment of the San Francisco Bay Trail between San Pablo and Wildcat creeks at the West County Wastewater District facility. The new trail will enable hikers, bikers, and wheelchair riders to reach more than a half mile of Richmond’s San Pablo Bay shoreline at Wildcat Marsh. (December)
For Napa County, the Conservancy:
• made $65,000 from the San Francisco Foundation available to monitor levels of methylmercury, a highly toxic compound of mercury that is readily accumulated in the food web, as part of the Napa River Salt Marsh Restoration Project. The restoration project aims to restore the ecology of 10,000 acres of former salt ponds along San Pablo Bay, and there is concern that the restoration might exacerbate the exposure of fish and other wildlife to methylmercury. The monitoring will help guide the progress of the restoration. (September)
NORTH COAST
For the Coastside of Sonoma County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $8 million of Conservancy funds plus a $5.85-million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the Sonoma Land Trust’s $36-million purchase of the 5,630-acre Jenner Headlands property on the east side of Highway 1 north of the Russian River. The highly scenic property contains a variety of wildlife habitats—including redwood and Douglas fir forest, oak woodland, chaparral, meadows, and coastal prairie—and offers excellent opportunities for regional trails. The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District will hold a conservation easement over the property and is working with the land trust to develop a management plan. The award of Conservancy funds was conditioned on their future availability from State bond sales, but the conditional award enabled the Land Trust to obtain interim funding for the purchase. (September)
For Mendocino County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $193,000 to the Northwest California Resource Conservation and Development Council to remove a barrier to fish passage in Ancestor Creek, a tributary of the Mattole River. A new structure spanning the creek at Briceland Road will replace culverts that prevent coho salmon and steelhead trout from reaching over two miles of high-quality spawning and rearing habitat. The funding augments a 2008 award of $105,000 from the Conservancy and replaces other State funds that became unavailable because of the State budget crisis. (September)
For Humboldt County, the Conservancy:
• awarded $20,000 to the North Coast Resource Center to make it easier for the public to reach natural areas around Humboldt Bay by cleaning up homeless encampments. The encampments, which are common around the Bay, are public health and safety hazards that discourage recreational use of natural areas by the general public. The North Coast Resource Center has been working with the poor and homeless in the area for over 32 years and, as part of the program, will direct homeless individuals to available services. (June)
GRANTS AND OTHER FUNDING AWARDED TO STATE COASTAL CONSERVANCY IN 2009
American Recovery & Reinvestment Act
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    South San Diego Wetlands Restoration
    South San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project
    Invasive Spartina Eradication, San Francisco Bay
    $2,975,000
    $5,898,862
    $1,722,081
US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)/State Water
Resources Control Board

    Tijuana Estuary Sediment Fate and Transport Study
    $195,000
National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program/US
Fish & Wildlife Service

    South San Diego Bay Wetlands Restoration
    South San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project
    Tomales Wetlands and Dunes Complex Protection Project, Marin
County
    Odello East Floodplain Restoration Project, Lower Carmel River
    Middle Watsonville Slough Wetlands Protection Project
    $1,000,000
    $1,000,000
    $ 1,000,000
    $925,000
    $860,410
Coastal Impact Assistance Program/US Minerals Management
Service

    Invasive Spartina Eradication,
San Francisco Bay
    Invasive Spartina Eradication, Humboldt Bay
    Santa Cruz Marine Debris Reduction Program
    $800,000
    $150,000
    $210,000
NOAA Community-based Habitat Restoration National & Regional
Partnership

    Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project
    $500,000
USEPA

    San Francisco Bay Living Shorelines Project, Corte Madera & Eden
Landing
    Invasive Spartina Eradication, San Francisco Bay
    $300,000
    $172,375
TOTAL FEDERAL FUNDING
$17,708,728


California Department of Transportation Mitigation Funds

    Eastshore State Park
    Gateway Park, Oakland
    Oakland Waterfront Access
    Suisun Marsh Restoration
    $2,017,562
    $1,291,852
    $1,000,000
    $200,000
San Diego Association of Governments

    Buena Vista & San Elijo Lagoon Restoration
    $1,500,000
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

    Southeast Waterfront Access
    $500,000
San Francisco Foundation

    Napa River Salt Marsh Restoration Project
    $65,000
Sonoma County Water Agency

    Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management Plan
    Bay Area Water Forum
    $10,000
    $10,000
Poseidon Water

    Bay Area Water Forum
    $1,000
TOTAL NON-FEDERAL FUNDING
$6,595,414
TOTAL ALL SOURCES
$24,304,142



2010 Project Accomplishments

In 2010 the State Coastal Conservancy supported 67 projects along California’s coast and around San Francisco Bay with awards totaling more than $28 million. The Conservancy’s support for these projects is leveraging more than $60 million from the federal and local governments and private organizations. The funds are being used to protect natural lands, improve wildlife habitat, support local economies, and help people enjoy the coast and the Bay Area. The majority of the Conservancy’s funding came from resources bond acts approved by the State’s voters.
In the beginning of the year State bond funds were only available for selected projects that had begun prior to December 2008, and so funding for new projects was severely limited. By the beginning of May bond funds again became available and the Conservancy began developing new projects at a quick pace.
To accomplish its goals the Conservancy relies on partnerships with local communities and more than 100 nonprofit organizations based in all parts of the coast and around San Francisco Bay. This network ensures that local residents inform the Conservancy about coastal needs and opportunities and are actively involved in the Conservancy’s work.
For Public Access along the length of the coast, the Conservancy:
                approved funding for projects to extend and improve the California Coastal Trail in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Mendocino, and Del Norte counties—information about these projects is provided in the county listings that follow. The Coastal Trail will one day run the entire length of the coast, linking the varied urban, rural, and wilderness areas that together make up California’s world-renowned coastline. About half of the trail is now in place and new segments are being added every year.

SOUTH COAST
For the length of the South Coast, the Conservancy:
                provided $52,000 to the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project for the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project Science Advisory Project to support the design, construction, and monitoring of wetlands restoration in South Coast watersheds. The funding comes from the California Natural Resources Agency and follows $500,000 provided by the Conservancy for the Science Advisory Project in 2006. (May)

For San Diego County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $317,000 to the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority to construct and plan for trails near San Dieguito Lagoon. The funding will support construction of the 1.7-mile Mesa Loop Trail overlooking the lagoon and about a half mile of the Coast-to-Crest Trail, together with studies of possible alignments for the Reach-the-Beach section of the Coast-to-Crest Trail near the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The Coast-to-Crest Trail is a multi-use trail system that will connect inland areas in north San Diego County to the coast. The funding follows $177,000 awarded by the Conservancy for the trail in 2005. (May)
                provided $300,000 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to construct a portion of the Bayside Birding and Walking Trail in the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Imperial Beach. The new pedestrian trail will be parallel to the existing Bayshore Bikeway and include a wildlife overlook and a 50-foot bridge across a drainage channel. The trail will be built to protect sensitive wetlands habitats and resolve conflicts between bicycle and pedestrian uses of the Bayshore Bikeway. (May)
                awarded $250,000 to the Ocean Discovery Institute for final design, engineering, and pre-construction planning for the Living Lab environmental education center in the City Heights neighborhood in the City of San Diego. The Living Lab will be the headquarters for Ocean Discovery’s environmental stewardship programs, which use San Diego’s natural environments as a means to engage young people from underserved communities and inspire them to become part of the next generation of scientific and environmental leaders. (August)
                authorized use of $220,000 for planning, permitting, and associated studies for the San Diego River Tributary Canyons Project, which aims to develop pedestrian and bicycle trail connections to the proposed 52-mile San Diego River Trail in the City of San Diego. The planning will focus on possible alignments for a 3.3-mile trail that would link neighborhoods north and south of the San Diego River to a City-planned river park in eastern Mission Valley. The Coastal Conservancy has been developing the project in close collaboration with the San Diego River Conservancy. (August)
                awarded $200,000 to the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition to plan for and design about three miles of the Rose Creek Watershed Trail in the City of San Diego. The new trail will link existing trails, provide safe railroad and creek crossings, and greatly improve access from the upper Rose Creek watershed to Mission Bay. The trail will also become an important connection to the Coastal Rail Trail, a planned 40-mile commuting and recreation trail between downtown San Diego and Oceanside. (May)
                provided $250,000 to the City of San Diego for planning and permitting necessary to reclaim the Nelson Sloan Quarry in the Tijuana River Valley. The reclamation will improve the natural values and appearance of the abandoned quarry, which lies within Tijuana River Valley Regional Park, while providing a low-cost option for disposing of sediment that must be dredged from the Tijuana Estuary and other nearby locations. (October)
                granted $104,000 to the Endangered Habitats Conservancy for restoration of Swan Canyon in the City of San Diego. The funding will be used to replace invasive non-native vegetation, including stands of giant reed, with native plants. The work will improve wildlife habitat, remove a fire hazard, and decrease the number of hidden areas used for encampments and criminal activity. The funding follows Conservancy support for planning and permitting provided since 1999. (August)
                awarded $300,000 to the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) to prepare the Historical Ecology Study of North San Diego County Coastal Wetlands. Working with the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project and California State University, Northridge, SFEI will analyze historical documents to characterize changes in water flows, habitats, and the plants and animals found in eight wetlands from Torrey Pines State Reserve to Camp Pendleton. The information will be used to develop restoration strategies geared to each of the wetlands. (December)
                authorized the City of San Diego to use $56,000 of previously authorized Conservancy funds to complete a Vernal Pool Habitat Conservation Plan for the southwestern area of the City. Vernal pools—wetlands that are occasionally dry—support several rare and endangered plants and animals and are one of the most threatened ecosystems in the region. The plan will be prepared in conjunction with the State’s Natural Communities Conservation Program, which aims to conserve natural communities while accommodating compatible land use and development. (December)

For San Diego and Orange Counties, the Conservancy:
                provided $60,000 to the Maritime Museum of San Diego to plan and coordinate the Tall Ships Festivals of 2010 held in September and October at the ports of San Diego, Dana Point, and Chula Vista. The events featured visits from historic tall ships and working craft from around the world together with multi-cultural educational and recreational activities highlighting the three waterfronts. (August)

For Orange County, the Conservancy:
                provided $126,000 to the Laguna Canyon Foundation for work leading to future property acquisitions for the South Coast Wilderness system of parks and preserves. Since 2002 the Conservancy has provided more than $9 million for purchases totaling 242 acres that have been added to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, a major part of the greater wilderness. The 20,000-acre South Coast Wilderness surrounds the highly urban landscape between Newport Beach and Dana Point. (October)
                granted $25,000 to Get Inspired!, a nonprofit organization, to restore and monitor two acres of depleted giant kelp beds at reef locations near Laguna Beach. Get Inspired! will also use the funding to train volunteer divers, collect biological data at previously restored sites, and involve middle and high school students in the restoration effort. Giant kelp forests are among the most productive and diverse ecosystems in the world, providing food and shelter for more than 800 species of marine animals. (October)

For Los Angeles County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $994,000 to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to construct a stairway from Malibu Road to Amarillo and Malibu Colony beaches in the City of Malibu. When completed, the stairway will be the only public beach accessway between Malibu Lagoon State Park and Amarillo Beach. The Conservancy, which acquired the site in 2002 and funded the stairway’s design, also authorized transfer of the property to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. (October)
                contributed $573,000 to the Mountains Restoration Trust’s purchase of the 78-acre Cold Creek High Trail property for addition to the Cold Creek Preserve in the Santa Monica Mountains. The purchase will conserve a critical segment of a wildlife corridor between Topanga and Malibu Creek state parks and allow the development of public trails that will be linked to the area’s regional trail systems. The land contains 12 parcels that could be developed for residential estates. (August)
                provided $500,000 to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes for design and construction of nine miles of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Coastal Trail along the city’s entire coastline. Sections of the trail currently exist but are disconnected, unmarked, and mostly in poor condition. The trail will accommodate pedestrians, bicycles and, where feasible, wheelchairs. It will be designated as part of the California Coastal Trail, and connecting trails will lead to beaches and through the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve. (October)

For Ventura County, the Conservancy:
                provided $4 million to The Nature Conservancy for its purchase of 200 acres for addition to the Santa Clara River Parkway. Goals of the Parkway project include managing floodwaters, restoring the natural environment, and creating a public trail system along the lower 23 miles of Southern California’s largest river. The Coastal Conservancy has worked since 2000 with the Nature Conservancy and other government agencies and private organizations to develop the Parkway, which so far contains 3,000 acres along 14 miles of the river. (October)

CENTRAL COAST
For Santa Barbara County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $2,336,000, including $1.2 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to Santa Barbara County for its acquisition of a largely pristine 172-acre property on Paradise Beach near Point Sal. The property adjoins hundreds of acres of already protected land and includes about a mile of beachfront and a variety of habitats that support hundreds of native plant and animal species. (April)
                provided $175,000 to the University of California to construct a stairway over the slope of a bluff and safely link well-used and highly scenic sections of the California Coastal Trail near Campus Lagoon at UC-Santa Barbara. The project includes restoration of adjacent portions of the bluff face, which has been severely eroded by a series of informal trails. (August)
                granted $50,000 to the City of Carpinteria to prepare environmental compliance documents for the Rincon segment of the Carpinteria Coastal Vista Trail along the Santa Barbara Channel shoreline. The one-mile trail segment will provide a hiking and biking connection between Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and improve the safety of access to and along the shoreline. The trail will close a gap in the California Coastal Trail at a critical location between Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve and Rincon County Park. (December)

For Monterey County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $180,000 to the Big Sur Land Trust for preparation of final designs, environmental review, and permit applications for the Lower Carmel River Floodplain Restoration Project. Key objectives of the project include restoring 90 acres of wildlife habitat in the river’s historic floodplain, recharging groundwater, reducing flood flows in urban areas, reconnecting the east and west sides of the floodplain, and improving the quality of water entering Carmel River Lagoon. The funding comes from a $925,000 grant for the project received by the Conservancy from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and it follows $250,000 provided by the Conservancy in 2008. (August)
                provided $75,000 to the Elkhorn Slough Foundation to define, manage, and monitor ten conservation easements in the Elkhorn Slough watershed. The easements resulted from decades-earlier applications for coastal development permits and were designed to protect a variety of sensitive wildlife habitats. (February)

For Santa Cruz County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $500,000 to the City of Santa Cruz for the installation of interpretive exhibits within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center. The Center, now under construction, will introduce people to the 3,500-square-mile marine sanctuary and inform them about how it can be protected. The site for the Center is near the City’s Municipal Wharf and only a few blocks from downtown. (December)
                provided $250,000 to the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission to prepare a Master Coastal Trail Plan for the County’s segment of the California Coastal Trail. The plan will guide the development of about 38 miles of bicycle and pedestrian pathways along the County’s entire coastline, along with spur trails leading to and from points of interest and community access points. Part of the plan’s development will include workshops open to interest groups and the general public. (May)
                granted $50,000 to Save Our Shores to develop a cigarette litter abatement demonstration project. The project will evaluate the effectiveness of different types of cigarette receptacles and educate the public about risks to the environment from cigarette litter. Cigarette butts are the most prevalent type of litter that finds its way to the County’s beaches and marine habitats. (May)

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
For the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, the Conservancy:
                awarded $1.2 million to the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council to plan for future Bay Area Ridge Trail projects within the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The Council is working toward creation of a 500-mile multi-use trail that will ring San Francisco Bay high on the ridgeline. About 320 miles of the trail are currently open to the public, many constructed with financial assistance from the Conservancy. (May)
                provided $1 million to San Francisco State University and environmental contractors for the San Francisco Bay Living Shorelines Project, which aims to restore subtidal habitats in the Bay and assist with adaptations to climate change. The funding will support the establishment of up to three pilot sites in the Bay for restoration of native eelgrass and oyster beds. Much of the funding is available through the Wildlife Conservation Board and from a U.S. EPA grant made to the Association of Bay Area Governments. (August and December)
                authorized use of $300,000 of Conservancy funds plus $357,000 from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to support the Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium‘s development of climate change research priorities, adaptation practices, and pilot projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Consortium is working to reduce the negative impacts of climate change on the region’s wildlife, habitats, and ecosystem functions while enhancing the role of natural systems in mitigating those impacts. The funding will include a $150,000 grant to PRBO Conservation Science to coordinate the Consortium’s science review, technical support, and mapping efforts. (October)
                awarded $420,000 to the San Francisco Parks Trust to conduct conservation planning in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, including outreach and coordination among Bay Area land conservation organizations. The funding will support several projects and programs undertaken through the Bay Area Open Space Council. (October)
                provided $100,000 to PRBO Conservation Science to (1) model ecological changes to San Francisco Bay wetland habitats based on a range of sea level rise and salinity change projections resulting from climate change and (2) develop recommendations of high-priority sites for restoration and conservation in light of the predictions. San Francisco Bay wetlands are critical habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and directly benefit local communities through flood control, buffering of storm waters, and improving water quality. PRBO’s work will help guide planning for long-term wetlands restoration in the Bay. (October)

For San Francisco, the Conservancy:
                awarded $300,000 to the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) to develop an Ocean Beach Master Plan addressing a myriad of issues affecting recreation, natural resources, and predicted sea-level rise. The five-mile length of Ocean Beach makes it one of the longest urban beaches in the country, and it has the potential for becoming one of the most spectacular metropolitan beaches in the world. It suffers, however, from erosion, neglect, and a lack of amenities for visitors. (May)
                provided $290,000 to the Trust for Public Land to develop a master plan for Glen Canyon Park, including a plan to rehabilitate the well-used recreation area and designs for trail improvements. Most of the popular 69-acre park is an urban wilderness that contains forests, grasslands, and coastal scrub habitats that are home to a wide variety of wildlife. The City has designated $6.7 million of voter-approved local bond funds for the park’s improvements. (December)
                authorized the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to provide $90,000 of Conservancy funds to the Port of San Francisco to install improvements to an 800-foot-long segment of the San Francisco Bay Trail in conjunction with the Port’s reconstruction of Pier 43½ in Fisherman’s Wharf. The improvements will include lighting, street furniture, and trash receptacles on the Pier 43 Bay Trail Promenade within the most heavily traveled portion of the Bay Trail. The Port is relocating the alignment of the trail from an inland street to the Bay’s edge, affording pedestrians, bicyclists, and wheelchair riders greater safety and spectacular views. (December)

For Bayside and Inland San Mateo County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $800,000 to Ducks Unlimited to construct a pedestrian/bicycle bridge linking the San Francisco Bay Trail to Inner Bair Island in Redwood City. The bridge is part of a project that will improve and reconfigure existing trails and add observation platforms, a restroom, and kayak accommodations along the edge of an extensive area of restored salt marsh. An additional $200,000 of Conservancy funds previously awarded for the Bay Trail will also be used for the project. (May)

For Santa Clara, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties, the Conservancy:
                granted $30,000 to the Alameda County Water District for technical studies of water flows necessary to restore steelhead fisheries to Alameda Creek. The creek once supported large populations of steelhead trout, but a series of dams and other structures built since the 1840s have blocked migration of the fish between the bay and its historic spawning grounds. The award follows $120,000 provided by the Conservancy in 2006. (August)

For Alameda County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $355,000 to the City of Berkeley to construct a half-mile extension of the San Francisco Bay Trail within Eastshore State Park and a water access ramp for non-motorized vessels at the Berkeley Marina. The trail will run due west and become part of a greater project that will include trail extensions, new park amenities, bus stops, and lighting. The water access ramp is expected to be well used by wind surfers and kayakers. (May)
                provided $250,000 to the Bay Area Toll Authority for the multi-agency planning effort for the future Gateway Park at the eastern base of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The park will take up 15 acres on the shoreline of the former Oakland Army Base in an area that has historically been isolated from nearby communities and difficult to reach. It will offer spectacular views of the bay and the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge and will be linked to regional trails. (October)

For Contra Costa County, the Conservancy:
                contributed $1 million toward the Muir Heritage Land Trust’s acquisition of the 483-acre Franklin Canyon property in the city of Hercules. The property contains a variety of wildlife habitats and a potential site for a section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail that would connect to adjacent protected lands along Franklin Ridge. The property had once been a target of large-scale development projects and its protection has been strongly supported by the local community. (April)

For Napa County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $118,000 to The Land Trust of Napa County to assist public and private landowners in removing invasive vegetation and restoring native habitats in the Eticuera Creek watershed within the Blue Ridge Berryessa Natural Area at the north end of Lake Berryessa. Non-native plants have invaded much of the 34,000-acre watershed resulting in reduced habitats for wildlife, increased topsoil erosion, and lowered land values. The work will be conducted by the Blue Ridge Berryessa Natural Area Conservation Partnership, whose membership includes area landowners. (May)
                waived a $2 million repayment requirement from the Land Trust of Napa County’s purchase of Wildlake Ranch near Angwin on the condition that the entire amount of that funding be used for the ranch’s stewardship and development of public access facilities. The Conservancy’s 2006 funding—made with a requirement for repayment under certain circumstances—enabled the Land Trust to acquire the 3,000-acre ranch, but since then other anticipated sources of funding for purchase and management failed to materialize. The Land Trust plans to open the highly scenic and biologically rich ranch to the public no later than June 2013. (October)
                approved use of $75,000 to support the design, permitting, and other work associated with the Napa River Salt Marsh Restoration Project near San Pablo Bay. The Conservancy’s contribution will keep the project on-track for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct Phase III of the restoration, scheduled to begin in 2011 pending an anticipated federal appropriation of $12 million. More than half of the 10,000-acre project site—purchased by the State in 1994—has been restored to tidal wetlands and ponds managed for waterfowl and shorebirds. (October)

For Bayside and Inland Sonoma County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $475,000 to the City of Petaluma to complete engineering designs, permits, and related studies for rehabilitation of the historic railroad trestle on the Petaluma River for public access in downtown Petaluma. The 500-foot-long redwood trestle, built in 1922 but long closed, was once the main link for cargo transported to and from the river and a key component of Northern California commerce. The trestle project is part of a broader effort to re-integrate the river with the City’s downtown and expand regional systems of trails for pedestrians and bicycles. (October)
                provided $450,000 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Conservancy’s 25% share of monitoring costs through 2015 for the Sonoma Baylands Wetlands Restoration Demonstration Project at the mouth of the Petaluma River. The 322-acre project site, a former hayfield, was restored to tidal wetlands in the 1990s using materials dredged from the Port of Oakland. The Conservancy also authorized transfer of the property to the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. (October)
                awarded $300,000 to Sonoma County Regional Parks to complete a master plan for Tolay Lake Regional Park near Sears Point. The plan will cover restoration of wildlife habitat on 3,400 acres that include Tolay Lake and 4½ miles of Tolay Creek, along with improvements for a park center, trails, and equestrian facilities. The targeted area includes two properties, one owned by the County and the other by the Sonoma Land Trust that is slated to become part of the park. The Conservancy had contributed $5 million toward the properties’ acquisitions. (December)

For Bayside and Inland Marin County, the Conservancy:
                provided $5,250,000 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the ongoing restoration of the 648-acre Hamilton Wetlands in Novato, one of the largest tidal marsh restoration projects in San Francisco Bay. A portion of the Conservancy’s funding might be used to bring the neighboring 1,600-acre Bel Marin Keys Unit V property into the project. The bulk of the project’s funding is being provided by the federal government. (February and May)
                awarded $1 million to the Marin Agricultural Land Trust to acquire an agricultural conservation easement over the 1,214-acre J. Corda Ranch five miles west of Novato. The easement will enable the ranch to continue in agricultural production while protecting wildlife habitat and scenic lands. The ranch is connected on either end to other properties under MALT easements, so the Corda easement will result in an extensive protected wildlife corridor and a buffer against the encroachment of Novato’s western end. (May)

NORTH COAST
For the Coastside of Marin County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $2 million to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy for the restoration of Lower Redwood Creek at Muir Beach. Most of the creek’s upper watershed is relatively intact, but its mouth and floodplain are highly disturbed and prone to flooding. The project will restore the natural ecology of the floodplain, re-create endangered species habitat, reduce flooding that periodically closes the beach entrance road, and provide educational opportunities about wetlands restoration. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided $1 million of the Conservancy’s award. (May)
                provided $98,000 to Marin County to assist landowners in planning for improvements to salmon habitats in the upper San Geronimo Creek watershed. The planning will guide future habitat restoration on privately owned parcels, for which funding is expected from a variety of sources. The planning is the first phase of a program for restoration of the watershed, which contains some of the region’s best habitat for coho salmon and steelhead trout. In 2008 the Conservancy provided $100,000 for the program’s development. (October)

For Mendocino County, the Conservancy:
                provided $500,000 to the City of Fort Bragg for its purchase of 12 acres of the former Georgia-Pacific mill site on the City’s ocean headlands for the Noyo Center for Science and Education. The Center will include a world-class marine research laboratory and a facility for an aquarium and other public exhibits about the area’s coastal and marine environments. The City will repay the Conservancy its contribution over time, beginning in 2013. (October)
                provided $393,000 to the Mendocino Land Trust to construct or improve seven segments of the California Coastal Trail, plan for the development of an additional four segments, and continue to manage its existing accessways and easements. The construction will add 3.2 miles to the trail, a beach stairway, and interpretive panels at sites in Westport, Noyo Harbor, Fort Bragg, Caspar, Little River, Albion, and Elk. This is part of the second phase of an ongoing collaboration among the Conservancy, the Land Trust, and others to extend the Coastal Trail in the county. (August)
                awarded $275,000 to Jughandle Creek Farm and Nature Center for planning and design of educational and lodging facilities and an improved trail system at the Center’s property east of Caspar. The Center provides environmental education programs for young people, affordable lodging and camping for tourists and environmental groups, and a greenhouse and nursery where students, youth groups, and others can learn about and participate in native plant restoration projects. The funding follows $87,000 provided by the Conservancy in 2007 for preliminary technical studies and plans for the improvements. (October)
                provided $36,000 to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens south of Fort Bragg for the design of improvements to its trail system to meet Americans with Disabilities Act access standards. The Gardens contains seven acres of landscaped gardens and 40 acres of natural lands along the coastline, together with about 1½ miles of paved trails. The Gardens’ facilities and most of the paved trails are wheelchair-accessible except for three trail sections that are too steep for most wheelchair riders. The Conservancy has long supported the Gardens, providing more than $2.3 million since 1982 for the purchase of and improvements to the site. (October)
                awarded $10,000 to the Moat Creek Managing Agency for its continued operation and maintenance of public access improvements at Moat Creek Beach and along the Moat Creek segment of the California Coastal Trail south of Point Arena. The sites were created as part of an early and successful Conservancy effort to reduce the density of the Whiskey Shoals subdivision for the protection of scenic natural and recreational lands. (February)

For Humboldt County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $600,000 to the Mattole Restoration Council for continued enhancement of the natural environment in the lower watershed of the Mattole River. The primary objectives of the restoration are a reduction in flows of sediment that degrade salmon and trout spawning habitats, planting of trees and other native vegetation to stabilize streambanks and provide shade for fish habitat, and removal of invasive plants that threaten to overrun areas of the watershed. The funding is supporting the third phase of restoration work that began in 2003. (May)
                provided $300,000 to the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District for final design of the Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project near Ferndale. The project aims to restore fish and wildlife habitat, reduce soil erosion on private lands, excavate a new river channel, and provide for long-term maintenance and management of the restored areas. The Salt River, within the Eel River Estuary, was once excellent habitat for a variety of wildlife and contributed to the Eel River’s prodigious populations of salmon and steelhead trout. Land-use changes in the estuary since the late 19th century, however, have degraded water quality and wildlife habitats and led to widespread flooding. (October)
                awarded $500,000 to the Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria for the reconstruction of Trinidad Pier. The existing wooden pier, constructed in 1947, is deteriorating and has contaminated Trinidad Harbor with chemicals from creosote-treated pilings and runoff from routine activities such as boat washing and fish cleaning. The new pier will be constructed of concrete and steel and equipped with a system to collect runoff water. The Conservancy earlier contributed funding for the new pier’s design. (December)
                provided $175,000 to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for public access improvements at the 444-acre Ma-le’l Dunes Cooperative Management Area on the north spit of Humboldt Bay. The slated improvements include upgrading of existing trails and parking areas and installation of fencing, restrooms, and signs. The Conservancy contributed funding toward the site’s purchase in 2003. (August)
                contributed $100,000 to the City of Arcata’s purchase of about 16 acres for addition to the Arcata Community Forest. The property contains forests and wetlands along a portion of the south fork of Janes Creek within a watershed that supports coho salmon and steelhead and cutthroat trout. The purchase will ensure the protection of the property’s natural resources and provide a site for public trails that will link to regional trail systems. (October)
                awarded $92,000 to the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District to complete final design and permitting for Phase II of the Humboldt Bay Water Trails program. The funding will support the design of new docks at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary and Woodley Island Marina and improvements to water access at Samoa Beach County Park. The objective of the program is to develop a series of water routes for canoeists and kayakers that are safe, easily accessible, and compatible with the natural environment and the interests of private landowners. (August)
                granted $50,000 to the Northcoast Regional Land Trust for the design and permitting of the Freshwater Nature Trail along the perimeter of the Freshwater Farms Reserve north of Eureka. The planned three-quarter-mile trail will include parking and picnic areas and a boat launch to Freshwater Slough, which flows to Humboldt Bay. Conservancy funding contributed to the Land Trust’s purchase of the 54-acre reserve in 2007. (October)

For Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, the Conservancy:
                provided $70,000 to the Northcoast Regional Land Trust to plan for the acquisitions of a conservation easement on the 160-acre Wetherell Dairy in Fort Dick, Del Norte County, and fee title to the 40-acre Senestraro property in Eureka, Humboldt County, and to prepare a Restoration and Management Plan for the 77-acre McNamara Dairy in Orick, Humboldt County. The Wetherell Dairy conservation easement will allow continued operation of a historic dairy in the Smith River Plain while preventing its subdivision and protecting its wildlife habitat. The Senestraro acquisition will allow restoration of Martin Slough, a tributary of the Eel River. The McNamara Dairy was purchased with Conservancy funds in 2009, in part to protect and enhance the environment of the estuary of Redwood Creek. (May)

For Del Norte County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $685,000 to the Crescent City Harbor District for the planning, design, and permitting of public access improvements in Crescent City Harbor. The funding will support the development of overall design guidelines along with specific designs for a waterfront promenade and an extension of the California Coastal Trail. The Conservancy has worked with Crescent City to revitalize its waterfront since 1984. (August)
                provided $100,000 to the County for improvements to Battery Point Lighthouse in Crescent City to ensure continued public access to the lighthouse and island grounds. Recent damage to the cast-iron roof of the lighthouse threatens its structural integrity and long-deferred maintenance must be addressed to stem the continued deterioration of the lighthouse structures and the trail from the City’s waterfront. The lighthouse is an iconic symbol of California’s North Coast and is visited by more than 15,000 people each year. (October)

2011 Project Accomplishments

In 2011 the State Coastal Conservancy supported 79 projects along California’s coast and around San Francisco Bay with awards totaling more than $64 million. The Conservancy’s support for these projects is leveraging $121 million from the federal and local governments and private organizations. The funds are being used to protect natural lands, improve wildlife habitat, support local economies, and help people enjoy the coast and the Bay Area. The majority of the Conservancy’s funding came from resources bond acts approved by the State’s voters.
To accomplish its goals the Conservancy relies on partnerships with local communities and more than 100 nonprofit organizations based in all parts of the coast and around San Francisco Bay. This network ensures that local residents inform the Conservancy about coastal needs and opportunities and are actively involved in the Conservancy’s work.
For Public Access along the length of the coast, the Conservancy:
·               approved funding for projects to extend and improve the California Coastal Trail in San Diego, Monterey, San Mateo, San Francisco, Mendocino, and Humboldt counties—information about these projects is provided in the county listings that follow. The Coastal Trail will one day run the entire length of the coast, linking the varied urban, rural, and wilderness areas that together make up California’s world-renowned coastline. More than half of the trail is now in place, with new segments and support facilities, such as parking areas and restrooms, being added every year.

For stewardship of coastal waters, the Conservancy:
·               provided staff for the Ocean Protection Council, a State organization established to ensure that California maintains healthy, resilient, and productive ocean and coastal ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations. In 2011, the OPC:
·               provided $1.96 million for continued monitoring of the State’s system of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) established under the Marine Life Protection Act. The MPA Monitoring Enterprise—a program of the California Ocean Science Trust—is using the funding to: (1) advance the development of scientific approaches to monitoring; (2) manage and share information, including monitoring data and scientific analyses; and (3) communicate monitoring results and support adaptive MPA management. California Sea Grant also awarded funds for baseline data collection for the newly designated South Coast MPAs, using $4 million made available by the OPC in 2008. (March)
·               adopted a resolution on Sea Level Rise (SLR) calling for State agencies to: (1) assess vulnerabilities of projects and programs over the full range of SLR projections; (2) avoid high-risk decisions, based on the SLR projections; and (3) coordinate use of the same SLR projections among agencies working on a particular project or program. (March)
·               awarded $990,000 to prepare a Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan. Spiny lobsters are a popular commercial and recreational fishery and are subject to an unknown level of illegal take. Basic studies of population ecology and habitat use are ongoing, but more information is needed to understand population size and habitat requirements to support a sustainable commercial and recreational harvest. (May)
·               awarded $222,000 to the California State Lands Commission to review and update its offshore geophysical permit program. The funding will allow the Commission to incorporate up-to-date science regarding the potential impacts of geophysical surveys on marine life and the coastal environment and conduct an environmental analysis, with public review, of the permit program. (August)
·               adopted a protocol for the California Voluntary Sustainable Seafood Program for commercial fisheries, as directed by the Legislature in 2009. Program elements include establishment of a process and standards for sustainable certification, grants and loans (pending legislated funding) to assist fisheries in becoming certified, design of a label to identify certified seafood, and marketing assistance. (December)
·               recommended a policy to the California Energy Commission on test and pilot projects for marine renewable energy and prepared an accompanying white paper containing guidance for permitting. (December)
·               authorized development of an agreement with the California Technology Agency to support the integration of California’s coastal and marine geospatial data into a statewide Internet-based “geo portal” to improve access to these data by interested parties, including the general public. (December)
·               approved four scientific research projects that will be conducted by the State’s two Sea Grant programs using funds from a $1.08 million OPC grant awarded in 2010. The projects are grouped under three areas—sustainable fisheries, climate change, and coastal and marine spatial planning—and will assist the OPC in making management and policy decisions. (December)

SOUTH COAST
For San Diego County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $2.5 million to the San Diego Association of Governments to design and construct nearly three miles of the Bayshore Bikeway and California Coastal Trail along San Diego Bay. On its south end the new trail will link to an existing section of the bikeway at National City’s Pepper Park and run northward along the National City Marina and through much of the Naval Base San Diego. The Bayshore Bikeway, about half complete and aligned with the Coastal Trail, will one day encircle the bay. (March)
                contributed $1,445,000 to the City of Santee’s purchase of the 105-acre Walker Property along the San Diego River to protect and restore natural habitats and provide compatible public access. The property had been used for sand mining but contains high quality habitat for resident and migratory birds, including two endangered species. A portion of the funding will be used to design a new section of the San Diego River Trail, which is planned to run from the river’s headwaters to the ocean. (May)
                provided $650,000 to the City of Del Mar to construct a pathway to Del Mar Beach and replace dilapidated public restrooms as part of the new 17th Street Beach Safety Center. The new pathway from Coast Boulevard at 17th Street will be wheelchair accessible and enable beachgoers to avoid passing through a busy parking lot. The 2.5-mile Del Mar Beach attracts an estimated two million people annually. (May)
                awarded $450,000 to the County’s Department of Parks and Recreation for the design and construction of a 1½-mile section of the Sweetwater River Trail in Sweetwater Valley Regional Park in Bonita. The new trail section will be the final link connecting the Sweetwater Loop Trail System on the east side of the park to the Bayshore Bikeway and the California Coastal Trail to the west. The trail will accommodate hikers, bikers, wheelchair riders, and equestrians and replace an informal dirt pathway that is occasionally inaccessible. (July)
                granted $286,000 to the San Diego Unified Port District to revitalize commercial fishing facilities at Driscoll’s Wharf on San Diego Bay. The funding is being used for structural improvements to the offloading pier, purchase and installation of an ice machine and live seafood holding tanks, installation of interpretive signs, and planning for an on-site fisherman’s market. The funding follows $450,000 provided by the Conservancy in 2007 for preparation of a comprehensive commercial fisheries revitalization and public access plan to counter the decline in the region’s commercial fishing industry and improve public access and visitor-serving facilities on the bay’s waterfront. (September)
                awarded $150,000 to the San Diego History Center to prepare plans to update the exhibits and use of the Junipero Serra Museum and make it a focal point for presentations about the history and significance of the San Diego River. Although a recognized San Diego landmark, the museum is currently underutilized, drawing fewer than 20,000 visitors per year and housing exhibits that are 15-20 years old. The museum is near the mouth of the river on Presidio Hill, right above Old Town San Diego, and first opened to the public in 1929. (September)

For San Diego and Orange Counties, the Conservancy:
                provided $70,000 to the Maritime Museum of San Diego to plan and coordinate the Tall Ships Festivals of 2011 to be held in September at the ports of San Diego, Dana Point, and Chula Vista. The events will feature visits from historic tall ships and working craft from around the world together with multi-cultural educational and recreational activities highlighting the three waterfronts.

For Orange and Riverside counties, the Conservancy:
                provided $2 million to Orange County and $3.4 million to Riverside County for design and permitting of the remaining sections of the Santa Ana River Parkway in the two counties. The Parkway—more than half complete—will one day run for about 100 miles from the crest of the San Bernardino Mountains to the coast near Huntington Beach. The Conservancy’s funding will be directed at a planned three-mile section of the Parkway in Orange County and an adjoining 22½-mile section in Riverside County. (May)

For Orange and Los Angeles counties, the Conservancy:
                provided $225,000 to the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority to prepare a comprehensive conceptual restoration plan for the Los Cerritos wetlands complex in the cities of Long Beach and Seal Beach near the mouth of the San Gabriel River. The 450-acre study area contains about 200 acres of mostly degraded wetlands in public and private ownership. The authority holds title to more than 170 acres and is looking to expand its holdings. (September)

For Los Angeles County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $1.5 million to the City of Long Beach to develop a 1¼-mile-long park and restore native wildlife habitats in the Deforest Wetlands, a 39-acre flood-control detention basin along the lower Los Angeles River. Almost four miles of public trails will be constructed in the site along with a bicycle staging area. Besides benefitting wildlife, the habitat restoration will improve the river’s water quality and increase flood protection for nearby neighborhoods. The project will be a significant step forward in the creation of the planned 52-mile Los Angeles River Greenway. (November)
                provided $991,000 to the City of Long Beach to dredge, treat, and dispose of contaminated sediments from the west arm of Colorado Lagoon. The project is part of a larger effort to improve the lagoon’s water quality and wildlife habitats. About two-thirds of the Conservancy’s funding came from a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (January and November)
                awarded $500,000 to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority for design and construction of Compton Creek Natural Park in Compton. The park will be built on a four-acre, publicly owned vacant lot adjacent to Washington Elementary School. It will be designed to highlight the creek’s natural environment and will include a gateway to the Compton Creek Regional Garden Park Trail, which will lead to the Los Angeles River Trail. (March)
                provided $280,000 to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority for site improvements and planning to provide for public access, community stewardship, and educational programs at the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve. The project is targeting 300 acres of State-owned land north of Ballona Creek that has been closed to the public but suffers from dumping and other illegal activities. Site improvements will include garbage removal and new gates, fences, and educational signs. (July)
                provided $89,000 to California State University Fullerton Auxiliary Service Corporation to restore and monitor a native oyster bed using community volunteers for the Alamitos Bay Oyster Project in Long Beach. The funding will support the establishment of a 60-square-meter bed of Olympia oysters—California’s only native oyster—and apply what is learned to future restoration efforts in Southern California. Community participation is expected to stimulate the public’s interest in the natural environment and similar restoration projects. (November)
                granted $20,000 to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to manage public beach accessways in Malibu. Most of the funding will be directed to the management of a stairway to the beach in the Latigo Shores neighborhood, but a portion is expected to assist in the management of an additional four access easements held by the Authority. (September)

For Ventura County, the Conservancy:
                contributed $500,000 to the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s acquisition of 70 acres of the Hollingsworth Ranch property along the Ventura River. The purchase protects 1.3 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for endangered southern steelhead trout and links already protected lands upstream and downstream. The purchase is part of a greater effort to create the Ventura River Parkway on the lower 15 miles of the river. (January)
                awarded $405,000 to the County to replace a four-barrel culvert crossing with a 520-foot bridge along the Ojai Valley Trail at the confluence of San Antonio Creek and the Ventura River. The project will greatly improve passage for steelhead trout to and from 15 miles of streams in the creek’s watershed and allow the trail to remain open to users year-round. The culverts have filled with sediment in years with high rainfall, blocking passage for the trout and washing out the trail. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provided $190,000 of the Conservancy’s funds. (March and September)

CENTRAL COAST
For the length of the Central Coast, the Conservancy:
                provided $164,000 from the California sea otter tax check-off fund to the University of California, Santa Cruz, for an investigation into the effects of coastal contaminants and other human-caused stressors on California sea otters. The otters suffer from early mortality and low birth rates and evidence suggests that causes include infectious diseases, parasites, and toxins resulting from human-related activities. The funding follows $319,000 awarded by the Conservancy for the study in 2008 and 2009. (January)

For Santa Barbara County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $3 million to The Trust for Public Land for its purchase of the 63-acre Ocean Meadows property in Devereux Slough. The purchase will complete a 650-acre assemblage of properties permanently protected for wildlife habitat, scenic views, recreation, and education, and allow for future restoration of the property’s wetlands. The Conservancy’s award includes $500,000 received from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant. (May)
                provided $250,000 to the University of California, Santa Barbara, for public access improvements at the Coal Oil Point Reserve adjacent to Devereux Slough. The improvements will include new and repaired fencing, new entrance structures, and a seasonal boardwalk over a flooded section of the trail. A primary objective of the improvements is to protect the reserve’s fragile wildlife habitats. (January)

For Monterey County, the Conservancy:
                made $4.5 million available for the removal of San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River. The obsolete dam poses a significant threat to downstream lives and property and is a barrier to the migration of steelhead trout. The Conservancy has been working for the dam’s removal since 2000 with several government agencies, conservation organizations, and California American Water, which owns the dam and is contributing $49 million to the project. (May)
                awarded $250,000 to the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea to construct public access improvements and restore dune wildlife habitat at the popular Carmel Beach. The access improvements will include changes to the parking layout, installation of a blufftop boardwalk and view platform, and construction of a 550-foot section of the California Coastal Trail that will connect the beach to more than 20 miles of the trail that extend northward. The dune restoration will include replacement of invasive, exotic vegetation with plants native to the area. (November)

For Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, the Conservancy:
                awarded $60,000 to O’Neill Sea Odyssey for California Ocean Stewards, a new marine education program serving underserved elementary school children in the Monterey Bay area. Program components include lessons in navigation, sailing, conservation, and marine science aboard a 65-foot catamaran in Monterey Bay; classroom instruction utilizing website materials; community service; and follow-up projects at the O’Neill Sea Odyssey Marine Education Center in Santa Cruz. (May)

For Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Mateo counties, the Conservancy:
                provided $600,000 to the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County to design and permit eight to ten watershed restoration projects as part of Phase 3 of the Integrated Watershed Restoration Program. The IWRP, which began in 2003 in Santa Cruz County, established a voluntary, non-regulatory approach to watershed restoration by funding project designs and permit applications and forming a technical advisory committee drawn from federal, State, and local resource and permitting agencies. The grant augments $900,000 awarded by the Conservancy for the program in 2008. (May)

For the Coastside of San Mateo County, the Conservancy:
                provided $2.65 million to the Coastside Land Trust to acquire a 50-acre bluff-top portion of the Wavecrest property in Half Moon Bay, design an extension of the California Coastal Trail through the property, and produce a conceptual design for extending the Coastal Trail south about ½ mile to Redondo Beach. The property supports a greater number and diversity of raptors than any other site in the County and was long threatened with development. (September)
                awarded $500,000 to the County to purchase and install bathrooms and other visitor facilities at both ends of the planned Devil’s Slide Coastal Trail and for planning and permitting to extend the trail one mile southward to Montara and Gray Whale Cove State Beaches. The Devil’s Slide portion of the California Coastal Trail will be located on the existing route of Highway 1 that will be closed to motor vehicles when Caltrans completes the Devil’s Slide bypass tunnel. The Conservancy is also involved in the planning effort to extend the Coastal Trail northward of the tunnel into Pacifica. (July)
                provided $250,000 to the City of Pacifica to acquire the six-acre Tronoff parcel at the Pedro Point Headlands just south of Pacifica as a site for the California Coastal Trail. The new Coastal Trail segment will connect to publicly owned land on the headlands and the future Devil’s Slide Coastal Trail. The hoped-for future acquisition of a neighboring property would allow the new segment to be linked to the existing length of the Coastal Trail that runs along the City’s coastline. (November)
                provided $250,000 to the County to build a ¼-mile segment of the California Coastal Trail and replace a deteriorating bridge over San Vicente Creek at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach. The new 60-foot bridge will cross the creek near the reserve parking lot and link to dirt bluff-top trails and the Coastal Trail, which will run southeast to the reserve boundary at Cypress Avenue. The bridge and the trail will accommodate hikers, wheelchair riders, bicyclists, and equestrians. (May)
                approved the transfer of the historic Purisima Townsite, a five-acre Conservancy-owned property about three miles south of Half Moon Bay, to the Coastside Land Trust. The Conservancy also awarded the land trust a $45,000 grant to improve and manage the property for public use. The planned improvements include fencing, signs, and a gravel parking area that could be used by visitors to the nearby Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail, which was recently opened. (July)

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
For the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, the Conservancy:
                made $5.9 million available for the ongoing effort to stem the spread of invasive Spartina, fast-growing varieties of cordgrass that threaten native wildlife habitats in the Bay. The Conservancy has been working since 1999 to eradicate the noxious weeds, and the effort has succeeded in reducing the range of the infestation from a high of 800 acres to fewer than 100 acres at the end of 2010. Formerly infested sites are now being replanted with native vegetation. The Wildlife Conservation Board is providing $4.1 million of the funding and an additional $267,000 is coming from the federal government. (March and September)
                made $2.5 million available to plan for Phase II of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project, the West Coast’s largest tidal wetlands restoration project. The planning will position future work for receipt of matching funds from the federal government and other sources. Of the six habitat restoration and five public access projects undertaken under Phase I, only two remain to be completed. The Wildlife Conservation Board is providing $475,000 of the planning funds. (November)
                awarded $1 million to the Association of Bay Area Governments to establish the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail, a planned network of launching and landing sites around San Francisco Bay for small non-motorized boats. Working closely with the Conservancy, ABAG will use the funding to develop and improve water trail sites, provide information about the trail, promote safe boating practices and wildlife protection, and plan for the trail’s continued development. (March)
                approved funding for projects to extend and improve the San Francisco Bay Trail in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Alameda counties—information about these projects is provided in the county listings that follow. The Bay Trail will one day encircle San Francisco and San Pablo Bays with a continuous 500-mile network of bicycling and hiking trails along or near the shoreline. About 310 miles of the trail—over 60 percent of its ultimate length—have been completed.
                approved funding for projects to extend and improve the Bay Area Ridge Trail in San Francisco, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma counties—information about these projects is provided in the county listings that follow. The Ridge Trail will one day contain a continuous 550-mile network of hiking, bicycling, and equestrian trails on the ridgelines encircling San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. More than 325 miles of the trail are now open to the public.
                provided $100,000 to the Association of Bay Area Governments to organize and present the tenth State of the Estuary Conference in the fall of 2011. The biennial, conference brings together scientists, managers, interest groups, and the public to address the protection and restoration of the Bay-Delta Estuary. (March)
                awarded $50,000 to Greenbelt Alliance to produce the 2012 edition of At Risk: The Bay Area Greenbelt, which will contain maps of risks to open space lands in the San Francisco Bay area, an evaluation of policy measures to conserve open space, and information about the resource values of these lands. The report has been produced since 1989 and is well used by conservationists and elected officials. The new edition will contain extensive data presented in an interactive online map. (September)
                provided $50,000 to Bay Area Clean Water Agencies, a joint powers authority, to administer funding for Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management Plan projects. The plan is addressing the region’s needs and objectives for water supply, water quality, and floodwater management and sets forth a strategy to meet those needs and objectives. Considerable funding is available for projects in the region and the costs to administer that funding is being shared by several government agencies. (November)

For San Francisco, the Conservancy:
                awarded $650,000 to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to improve segments of the California Coastal Trail and Bay Area Ridge Trail in the Presidio of San Francisco. The improvements will affect more than a mile of trails south of the Golden Gate Bridge and include a new link to the Rob Hill Campground. The improvements are part of a greater effort to create a loop of trails allowing hikers and bikers to explore the Presidio forest, historic districts, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay shore, and ocean overlooks. (September)
                provided $150,000 to Island Conservation, a nonprofit organization, to plan for the eradication of invasive house mice in the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, which includes the Farallon Islands. The islands host the largest seabird breeding colony in the United States outside of Alaska and Hawaii, providing habitat for thirty percent of California’s breeding seabirds. The non-native house mice have altered the islands’ ecosystem and are predators of eggs and chicks, making them a significant threat to populations of seabird species. (January)
                authorized the Association of Bay Area Governments to provide $70,000 from an earlier Conservancy block grant to the Port of San Francisco to construct a ¾-mile section of the San Francisco Bay Trail along Cargo Way in the Bayview/Hunter’s Point District. The trail section will run from Jennings Street at the entrance to Heron’s Head Park to Third Street near Islais Creek, closing a significant gap in the Bay Trail between the City’s southeast waterfront and a principal gateway to downtown. Trail users will be separated from auto traffic by a curb and fencing, particularly benefitting cyclists who now must contend with industrial truck traffic. (May)

For Bayside and Inland San Mateo County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $1.85 million to Ducks Unlimited for the restoration of wetlands at Middle Bair Island. The project will restore tidal flows to 571 acres and improve an additional 307 acres of existing wetlands. The restoration follows a decades-long public campaign to save the wetlands on Inner, Middle, and Outer Bair Islands and restore their marshes, which are home to a wide variety of waterfowl and other wildlife. The funding is available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the State Department of Water Resources. (May)
                contributed $500,000 to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s purchase of the 97-acre Silva property for addition to Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve near the town of La Honda. The purchase will greatly improve the public’s ability to get to Mindego Hill, a prominent 2,143-foot peak, and provides an excellent opportunity to develop a parking lot on Alpine Road. The property is in the midst of 5,000 acres of protected land in the Santa Cruz Mountains and supports a wide variety of wildlife, including mountain lions, coyotes, badgers, and raptors. (May)
                provided $250,000 to the County to improve a 0.84-mile section of the Crystal Springs Regional Trail adjacent to Crystal Springs Reservoir to accommodate hikers, bikers, wheelchair riders, and equestrians. The improvements will include repaving, culvert repair, and installation of benches, signs, information kiosks, fencing, and a restroom. The regional trail is mostly complete and will one day run for 17½ miles between San Bruno and Woodside. (July)
                authorized the Association of Bay Area Governments to provide $245,000 from an earlier Conservancy block grant to East Palo Alto to construct a 0.92-mile trail around the perimeter of the planned Cooley Landing Park on the San Francisco Bay shoreline. The trail will connect to the San Francisco Bay Trail and accommodate hikers, bikers, and wheelchair riders. Cooley Landing is a nine-acre peninsula that the City has targeted for a park since 2003. (July)

For Santa Clara County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $68,000 to the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority to construct a 5.8-mile segment of the Bay Area Ridge Trail in the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve east of San Jose. The new segment offers sweeping views of the bay and surrounding mountain ranges and links to an existing trail from San Jose’s Alum Rock Park. The trail accommodates hikers, bikers, and wheelchair riders and is being considered for future use by equestrians. (July)

For Alameda County, the Conservancy:
                contributed $1 million to the East Bay Regional Park District’s purchase of the 955-acre Owen property for addition to Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. The property contains a mosaic of woodland, grassland, scrub, and creekside habitats and offers excellent opportunities for a new staging area and trails to existing portions of the park. The 6,500-acre park runs from Dublin to Sunol on the ridge separating the East Bay from Pleasanton and the Livermore Valley. (May)
                authorized the Association of Bay Area Governments to provide $200,000 from an earlier Conservancy block grant to the City of Oakland for construction of a San Francisco Bay Trail segment between Fruitvale Avenue and High Street along the Oakland Estuary. The 0.1-mile segment will close a gap in the 6.6-mile Oakland Waterfront Trail portion of the Bay Trail that will one day run between downtown Oakland and Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline near the airport. The segment will be composed of concrete on steel piles at the edge of the estuary. (July)
                awarded $190,000 to Zone 7 Water Agency, a special government district, for updating its Stream Management Master Plan for about 100 miles of stream corridors in the Alameda Creek watershed in eastern Alameda County. The updated plan will integrate designs for improved fish and wildlife habitats with measures to improve flood management, groundwater recharge, and water quality. The project will build on Conservancy-supported work in the lower reaches of Alameda Creek, which is widely considered to offer the best opportunity in the Bay Area to restore stream habitat for recovery of the threatened steelhead trout. (November)

For Contra Costa County, the Conservancy:
                contributed $2.5 million to Save Mount Diablo’s purchase of the 1,080-acre Bertagnolli Ranch adjacent to Mount Diablo State Park. The purchase will protect a variety of wildlife habitats including blue oak and other woodlands, desert scrub, grasslands, and chaparral. The property has long been targeted for conservation and may one day become part of the State Park. (November)

For Solano County, the Conservancy:
                contributed $3.1 million to the Solano Land Trust’s purchase of 1,500 acres of the Rockville Trails Estates property in the Vaca Mountains west of Fairfield. The property lies in the southern end of the 800,000-acre Blue Ridge-Berryessa Natural Area, a swath of biologically diverse habitats that is being assembled and protected by a consortium of government agencies and private organizations. The property contains native woodlands and grazing land along with a planned alignment for six miles of the Bay Area Ridge Trail. (May)
                provided $140,000 to the City of Benicia to plan for the restoration of about 15 acres of the Benicia waterfront at the foot of First Street, two miles west of the Benicia-Martinez Bridge. The area is lacking in visitor amenities but offers spectacular views of the Carquinez Strait, has a rich history of waterfront uses, and contains beaches, marshlands, and a community green. The Conservancy has worked with the City to improve its waterfront for more than 20 years. (September)

For Napa County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $1.5 million to the Napa County Regional Parks and Open Space District to create the Lake Berryessa Environmental Education Camp on the Putah Creek arm of Lake Berryessa. The camp will be built on the 15-acre site of a former Boy Scout camp and will be the County’s first outdoor environmental education camp. It will primarily target school-aged children and will offer opportunities for water recreation, hiking, horseback riding, and nature observation. (March)
                provided $400,000 to the County to retrofit the Zinfandel Lane Bridge over the Napa River near St. Helena to remove a significant barrier to Chinook salmon and steelhead trout migrations. The retrofit—completed in October—made about 90 miles of historic spawning and rearing habitat upstream of the bridge much more accessible to the fish and improved the river’s environment for about 14 other native fish species. The project also improved the structural integrity of the historic bridge, which dates to 1913. (March)

For Bayside and Inland Sonoma County, the Conservancy:
                contributed $750,000 to the purchase by LandPaths, a conservation organization, of a remainder interest in the 120-acre Ranchero Mark West property in the heart of the Mayacamas Mountains northeast of Santa Rosa. The current owners will retain a life estate in the property and continue to reside there and make the property available for public access and environmental education programs. LandPaths’ purchase will ensure that the property remains protected and available to the public in perpetuity. (May)
                provided $55,000 to the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District to prepare plans and environmental documentation for the East-Slope Sonoma Mountain Ridge Trail. The proposed 1¼-mile trail will extend from Jack London State Historic Park and will be part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail. (March)
                awarded $152,000 to Sonoma County Regional Parks for the construction of a ¼-mile segment of the Bay Area Ridge Trail at Highway 12 on the eastern edge of Santa Rosa. The new segment will link existing routes of the trail that lead to Annadel State Park and Hood Mountain Regional Park and will provide a far safer crossing of Highway 12 than currently exists. (September)
                provided $100,000 to the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District to plan and design a three-mile segment of the Bay Area Ridge Trail in the Calabazas Creek Open Space Preserve north of Glen Ellen. The plan will also include a staging area on the floor of Sonoma Valley and a three-mile trail connection leading to the Ridge Trail alignment on the rim of the Mayacamas Mountains. The design is the first step toward opening the 1,280-acre preserve to public use. (September)

For Bayside and Inland Marin County, the Conservancy:
                provided $4 million to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the completion of the 648-acre Hamilton Wetlands restoration in Novato, one of the largest tidal marsh restoration projects in San Francisco Bay. The Conservancy has been a leader in the effort to restore the wetlands since 1995 and the bulk of construction for the restoration is expected to be completed in 2012. The federal government is providing most of the project’s funding and the State Wildlife Conservation Board will reimburse the Conservancy for its current contribution. (March)

NORTH COAST
For the Coastside of Marin County, the Conservancy:
                contributed $450,000 to the County’s purchase of a 21-acre forested property on San Geronimo Ridge near the town of Forest Knolls. The property contains valuable wildlife habitat and offers an excellent opportunity for a new public access route to the adjacent Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve. The property has long been subject to development proposals and efforts to block recreational access. (September)

For the Coastside of Sonoma County, the Conservancy:
                contributed $650,000 to the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District’s purchase of a conservation easement over the 495-acre Bordessa Ranch on the Estero Americano. The easement will protect the property’s wildlife habitat and prevent its subdivision, helping to ensure its continued use as rangeland for cattle. The Conservancy also awarded a $50,000 grant to Sonoma County Regional Parks Department to develop a public access plan for the property. (November)
                contributed $240,000 to Save the Redwoods League’s purchase of the 500-acre Raiche-McCrory property within the area known as The Cedars near Cazadero. The Cedars comprises a unique environment characterized by serpentine rock barrens, highly alkaline springs, Sargent cypress woodlands, and many species of rare and endemic plants. The League expects to transfer the property to the federal Bureau of Land Management for addition to its other holdings in the area. (March)
                provided $150,000 to the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District to research and design improvements to salmon and steelhead trout habitat at two sites within and along Green Valley Creek near Forestville. The creek—a major tributary of the Russian River—contains valuable fish and wildlife habitat that in some areas suffers from severe sediment deposition that results in frequent flooding and reduced stream flows. In addition to targeting that problem, designs will be prepared for the restoration of historic salmon and trout breeding habitat on a former agricultural property adjacent to the creek. (September)
                awarded $140,000 to the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District to improve water quality and restore fish habitat in the watershed of Austin Creek, which flows into the Russian River near Duncans Mills. The project is aimed at reducing road-related erosion and resulting sediment flows that smother spawning habitat for salmon and steelhead trout. The project is the first phase of a landowner-supported program to restore the watershed of Austin Creek, one of the Russian River’s principal tributaries. (July)

For Mendocino County, the Conservancy:
                contributed $3 million to Save-the-Redwoods League’s purchase of 957 acres known as the Shady Dell Creek Tract within the Usal Redwood Forest at the south end of Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. The property lies along the coast and contains a popular visitor destination known as the Trees of Mystery—redwood trees that have been strangely contorted by wind over many decades. The purchase is part of a greater effort to conserve more than 50,000 acres of land in the Usal Creek and South Fork Eel River watersheds, most of which would be managed as a working forest while protecting fish and wildlife habitats. (January)
                contributed $2.5 million to The Conservation Fund’s purchase of the 464-acre Smith Tract portion of the Ten Mile Ranch along Highway 1 north of Fort Bragg. The property contains a variety of natural communities including redwood/Douglas fir forest, coastal prairie, and freshwater, brackish, and salt marshes along Ten Mile River. The river’s estuary—much of which is found on the ranch—is critical habitat for Chinook and coho salmon. The purchase is the first of two planned phases of an effort to protect the entire 1,339-acre ranch through a conservation easement. (January)
                contributed $2.21 million to the Trust for Public Land’s purchase of the southern 123 acres of the Point Arena Ranch in the City of Point Arena. The undeveloped property offers spectacular ocean views from high bluff tops, is immediately accessible from Highway 1, and provides an excellent site for extension of the California Coastal Trail. The remaining 409 acres of the ranch are targeted for acquisition in 2012 and the entire property is slated for conveyance to the federal Bureau of Land Management. (November)
                awarded $46,000 to the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy to plan and design trails on two blufftop parcels north of Gualala. One site, at Getchell Cove, is the target site for a half-mile section of the California Coastal Trail. The other site—the Milhollin parcel—will contain a short trail from the highway that will offer dramatic ocean views. (September)
                provided $22,000 to the Coastal Land Trust to maintain and improve Seaside Beach, north of Fort Bragg, and the Heritage Trail, north of Albion. Seaside Beach straddles Highway 1 and contains natural areas and a sandy beach that attracts an estimated 175,000 visitors annually. The Heritage Trail leads from a small parking area on Highway 1 down a wooden stairway and boardwalk to Dark Gulch Beach. (May)

For Humboldt County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $2 million to the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District for the Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project near Ferndale for natural resource restoration and farmland protection. The project involves tidal marsh restoration on the 440-acre Riverside Ranch property, restoration of more than seven miles of the historic Salt River channel, erosion-reduction projects on private lands in the surrounding Wildcat Hills, and long-term adaptive maintenance and management of the project area. $1 million of the awarded funds was made available by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (May)
                provided $525,000 to the City of Eureka for design and construction of the Truesdale Vista Point trailhead at the northern end of a planned 1.2-mile section of the Elk River Trail, a part of the California Coastal Trail. The trail will run through the Elk River Wildlife Sanctuary and serve hikers, bikers, and users of nonmotorized watercraft. The trailhead’s amenities will include 23 parking spaces, a restroom, picnic facilities, and a wildlife viewing area. A portion of the funding will also be used for cleanup of homeless encampments in the vicinity and for a feasibility study aimed at additional trail development and wildlife habitat improvements on a nearby parcel. (January)
                provided $315,000 to the Northcoast Regional Land Trust to acquire the 36-acre Senestraro property along Martin Slough on the Eureka city limits. The purchase will allow restoration of the property to improve water quality, manage floodwaters, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and protect and improve grazing land. Martin Slough flows to the Elk River and contains valuable but degraded habitat for coho salmon, waterfowl, and other wildlife. (May)
                awarded $26,000 to the City of Arcata for the design and installation of interpretive and directional signs at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. The signs will describe the marsh system’s rich and diverse natural resources and help guide visitors through five miles of walking and biking paths. The Conservancy’s work with the City to protect and improve the sanctuary dates to 1978. (September)
                granted $15,000 to the County to design public access improvements and protect cultural resources at Big Lagoon County Park north of Trinidad. The planning covers improvements to allow people with disabilities to use park campsites, installation of a boat wash station, replacement of a floating dock, and protections for the O-púyweg Yurok village site. (May)
For Del Norte County, the Conservancy:
                provided $145,000 to the National Park Service for initial planning and design work aimed at construction of a new Redwood National and State Parks hostel. The new facility will replace a hostel that operated from 1987 to 2010, providing low-cost accommodations to thousands of visitors. The old structure was built in 1877 and was closed because of concerns about its seismic safety and overall deterioration. The new hostel will be relocated to protect cultural resources significant to the Tolowa and Yurok peoples. (January)



2012 Project Accomplishments

In 2012 the State Coastal Conservancy supported 87 projects located in every county along California’s coast and around San Francisco Bay. The Conservancy’s awards totaled more than $46 million and leveraged almost $70 million from the federal and local governments and private organizations. The funds are being used to protect natural lands, improve wildlife habitat, support local economies, and help people enjoy the coast and the Bay Area. The majority of the Conservancy’s funding came from resources bond acts approved by the State’s voters.
To accomplish its goals the Conservancy relies on partnerships with local communities and more than 100 nonprofit organizations based in all parts of the coast and around San Francisco Bay. This network ensures that local residents inform the Conservancy about coastal needs and opportunities and are actively involved in the Conservancy’s work.
For Public Access along the length of the coast, the Conservancy:
                awarded $125,000 to Access Northern California to complete its online guide to wheelchair accessible coastal parks and trails, which provides detailed information for wheelchair riders heading to the coast. The interactive guide, found at www.wheelingcalscoast.org, developed from the Conservancy’s wheelchair rider’s guides for the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles/Orange County areas. The new funding is being used to complete the guide’s coverage of the entire California coast and to update previously published information. (March)
                approved funding for projects to extend and improve the California Coastal Trail in Santa Barbara, Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties—information about these projects is provided in the county listings that follow. The Coastal Trail will one day run the entire length of the coast, linking the urban, rural, and wilderness areas that together make up California’s world-renowned coastline. More than half of the trail is now in place, with new segments and support facilities, such as parking areas and restrooms, being added every year. The Conservancy also awarded $300,000 to the nonprofit organization Coastwalk California to develop a California Coastal Trail Association, continue the Coastal Trail signing program, and promote public use of and support for the Coastal Trail. (October)

For Natural Resources Conservation along the coast, the Conservancy:
                awarded $200,000 to the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County to coordinate and prepare at least three in-depth case studies of the economic value and community benefits of conservation projects in Sonoma, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties. The work is part of the Healthy Lands & Healthy Communities Initiative, a comprehensive planning effort to identify priority, multi-benefit conservation projects and potential new funding sources and mechanisms to pay for them. (December)
                awarded $721,000 to Trout Unlimited to improve habitat for coho salmon and steelhead trout through construction of off-stream storage facilities in four coastal watersheds. The facilities will allow water to be stored in the winter, when streamflows are plentiful, to substitute for water that is currently diverted in the summer, when low flows can be deadly to fish. The watersheds are those of the Mattole River in southern Humboldt County, San Gregorio and Pescadero creeks in San Mateo County, and Little Arthur Creek, a tributary of the Pajaro River in Santa Cruz County. The projects build on Trout Unlimited’s success with similar projects in other parts of the coast. (January)

SOUTH COAST
For the length of the South Coast, the Conservancy:
                awarded $650,000 to Earth Island Institute for the Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program, which supports community-based restoration of coastal wetlands and other natural areas from San Diego through Santa Barbara counties. Typical projects include replacement of invasive vegetation with native plants, trash removal, and trail construction. All projects must involve community participation and education. On average, the program provides a total of about $300,000 for 10 or so projects per year. The program is part of the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project, a partnership of 18 State and federal agencies working in concert with local governments, conservation organizations, and the business community to acquire, restore, and improve coastal wetlands and natural areas. (August)

For San Diego County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $950,000 for planning and construction of three new segments of the San Diego River Trail, which one day will link communities and parklands along the 52-mile length of the river. The County Department of Parks and Recreation will use the funding to construct the 2½-mile Flume Trail segment and the San Diego Association of Governments will prepare plans for the Carlton Oaks and Qualcomm Stadium segments. The San Diego River Trail is a key component of the developing San Diego River Park, envisioned as a greenbelt running from the river’s headwaters in the Cleveland National Forest to its outfall at Ocean Beach. The Conservancy also provided $55,000 to The Trust for Public Land to prepare a plan for the protection and restoration of the San Diego River area and the completion of the park. (December)
                provided $450,000 to the County to construct a ¾-mile trail in Tijuana River Valley Regional Park for use by hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, and wheelchair riders. It will link two existing trails, allowing visitors to travel more than five miles through the park. The park contains a variety of wildlife habitats, including dunes, marshlands, and sage scrub, and the 22 miles of trails planned for the park will enable people to visit those areas without threatening the health of the natural environment. (May)
                awarded $440,000 to the San Francisco Estuary Institute to prepare the Historical Ecology Study of the Tijuana River and Estuary. SFEI will collect historical information about lands along the Tijuana River and how they have changed since the early days of Spanish settlements. The information will help guide the many efforts by both the United States and Mexico to restore and manage the Tijuana River Valley. (March)
                granted $130,000 to the Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association to continue its study of how sediments are transported in waters at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. The study will assist in the review of current policies regarding sediment discharge and deposition in California and may well lead to lower costs for restoration projects and better use of sediments for beach replenishment and other purposes. The grant adds to Conservancy funding provided in 2008 and 2009. (May)
                awarded $250,000 to the Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association to continue, for at least five years, its ongoing monitoring of the physical and biological characteristics of Los Peñasquitos Lagoon adjacent to Torrey Pines State Reserve. The monitoring, which began in 1987, has been essential to understanding the dynamic processes that affect the health of the lagoon and the effectiveness of restoration and management efforts. (May)
                granted $77,000 to the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy for continued technical studies and environmental documentation necessary for restoration of San Elijo Lagoon in Encinitas. The work will lead to improved water circulation and wildlife habitats and a program for the lagoon’s long-term maintenance and management. Although severely degraded, the lagoon is a valuable component of the network of habitats for birds and fish along the South Coast. The grant adds to almost $1.9 million of Conservancy funding awarded since 2008. (December)

For San Diego and Orange Counties, the Conservancy:
                provided $70,000 to the Maritime Museum of San Diego for the Festival of Sail held at the Port of San Diego and the Tall Ship Festival held at Dana Point Harbor in 2012. The highly popular festivals featured visits from historic tall ships and working craft from around the world together with educational activities and live entertainment that called attention to the importance of the two waterfronts. (May)

For Orange County the Conservancy
                awarded $1.5 million to the City of Laguna Beach for its purchase of the 56-acre McGehee property for addition to the adjacent Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, a 3,873-acre County park just east of Laguna Beach. The property features a hiking trail that connects to the adjacent parkland and to regional trails within the South Coast Wilderness system of canyons, parks, and preserves. The property offers sweeping views of the coast and inland hills and contains habitat for a variety of native wildlife. The Conservancy also provided $160,000 to the Laguna Canyon Foundation to design and install signs for the park that will provide more than 120,000 annual visitors with directions to and along the park’s many miles of trails together with information about park resources and regulations. (August and October)
                granted $14,000 to the Crystal Cove Alliance to purchase four beach wheelchairs for use by visitors to Crystal Cove State Park. The wheelchairs have large balloon tires for traveling over sand and can be pushed by most adults. Similar wheelchairs have been available for several years and are well-used by the public. (December)

For Los Angeles County, the Conservancy:
                made $6.5 million available for engineering and technical studies necessary for restoration of the 600-acre Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve along Santa Monica Bay. The studies will lead to improved habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife, better flood protection, and opportunities for people to experience a coastal wetland in the heart of urban Los Angeles. This is the most recent step in decades of restoration efforts by many government agencies, private conservation organizations, and the local community. (January)
                provided $2.92 million to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to purchase five adjacent undeveloped lots on Las Tunas Beach in Malibu. The purchase preserved unrestricted ocean views from Pacific Coast Highway and offers an opportunity to develop the lots into a new public beach. The Conservancy has a long history of helping people get to and enjoy the world famous beaches of Malibu. (March)
                awarded $470,000 to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to prepare a comprehensive plan for development of new public accessways to Malibu beaches. The plan will focus on 12 potential access points located along the length of Malibu’s shoreline. (December)
                provided $715,000 to The River Project, a nonprofit organization, to develop standard plans for capturing rainwater on residential properties. The Rainwater Harvesting Project will recruit at least two dozen San Fernando Valley homeowners to install and maintain a variety of rain-harvest demonstration projects on their properties for a minimum of two years, with the resulting information used to guide similar water conservation efforts throughout greater Los Angeles. The project is part of the City of Los Angeles Green Streets Initiative, which aims to capture and use storm water and reduce flows of polluted water to the ocean. (January)
                awarded $300,000 to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to construct Milton Street Park along the Ballona Creek Bike Path east of Marina del Rey in the City of Los Angeles. The 1.2-acre park will serve as a gateway to the popular trail and a rest area for hikers and bikers using the trail. (December)

For Ventura County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $111,000 to the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy to prepare a feasibility study and preliminary designs for an Education and Conservation Center at the Ventura River Steelhead Preserve. The center is proposed for an old residence on the historic Hollingsworth Ranch, purchased in 2011 with funding, in part, from the Coastal Conservancy. Proposed uses for the center include a visitor center, environmental research and education, and community meetings and events. (May)

CENTRAL COAST
For the length of the Central Coast, the Conservancy:
                awarded $60,000 to UC-Santa Cruz to research the effects of shark attacks on the population of southern sea otters. Earlier Conservancy-funded research investigated risks to sea otters caused by human behavior, and those studies discovered a sharp rise in the frequency of lethal shark attacks. The new research is attempting to provide better understanding of the causes of these attacks. (May)

For Santa Barbara County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $300,000 to the City of Santa Barbara to improve passage for steelhead trout in the lower channel of Mission Creek. The project will modify two concrete flood-control channels that currently block migrating southern steelhead—an endangered species—from historic spawning and rearing habitat upstream. The work is necessary for the success of other fish-passage projects in the creek. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration contributed $100,000 of the awarded funds. (October)
                provided $200,000 to the City of Santa Barbara to reconstruct the lower portion of the public stairway to Mesa Lane Beach. For more than 30 years, the Mesa Lane stairs, a part of the California Coastal Trail, have enabled countless beachgoers to reach the sandy beach at the bottom of a 140-foot bluff. The lower stairs, however, have deteriorated to the point that they are becoming hazardous and could wash away in a powerful storm. The new stairs have been designed to survive 50 years of heavy use, winter storms, and sea level rise. (May)
                awarded $100,000 to the Santa Barbara Trails Council for design and permitting of a 2.1-mile segment of the California Coastal Trail through the Sperling Preserve on Ellwood Mesa in Goleta. The trail will connect Goleta neighborhoods to the north, UC Santa Barbara and Coal Oil Point Nature Preserve lands to the east, and the scenic rural lands along the Gaviota Coast to the west. The Sperling Preserve attracts many visitors but the existing informal trails and beach pathways are in poor condition and in some areas harmful to wildlife habitats. (March)
                granted $50,000 to the City of Santa Barbara to update the Goleta Slough Management Plan by adding a study that examines ways to adapt to sea level rise. Rising sea levels could dramatically affect the area of the low-lying slough, which contains valuable wildlife habitat surrounded by a regional airport, two district sanitary facilities, many roads, and a variety of other facilities critical to the community. Without advance planning, the slough could be subject to devastating loss of wildlife habitat along with hundreds of millions of dollars of direct damages to structures and facilities and resulting losses to the local economy. (January)

For San Luis Obispo County, the Conservancy:
                made $400,000 available to prepare final design, permit, and environmental review documents for development of a campground at Port San Luis Harbor overlooking San Luis Obispo Bay. The campground will provide low-cost accommodations—scarce along most of California’s coast—for up to 300 visitors at a time. The Port San Luis Harbor District will lease the site and the Conservancy will share in future campground revenues. (December)
                provided $40,000 to California State Parks for the design and permitting of a planned campground at the site of the former Piedras Blancas Motel within Hearst San Simeon State Park on the coast. The site offers an ideal opportunity to provide low- and moderate-cost tent and RV camping to visitors at the southern end of Big Sur. (October)

For Monterey County, the Conservancy:
                made $27.5 million of new funding available for the removal of San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River. The obsolete dam poses a significant threat to downstream lives and property and is a barrier to the migration of steelhead trout. The Conservancy has been working for the dam’s removal since 2000 with several government agencies, conservation organizations, and California American Water, which owns the dam and is contributing $49 million to the project. The bulk of the Conservancy’s award comes from a number of State and federal agencies and private sources. (August)
                contributed $1 million to the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District’s purchase of the 317-acre Whisler Wilson Ranch east of Point Lobos for addition to the 4,350-acre Palo Corona Regional Park. The purchase will greatly increase the public’s ability to reach that park and will also enable the opening of the neighboring Point Lobos Ranch State Park, acquired in 2004 but closed to the public for lack of access. The ranch offers spectacular views of Carmel Bay and inland mountains and contains a variety of habitats that are home to threatened and endangered wildlife. (October)
                provided $600,000 to the Elkhorn Slough Foundation for design and permitting prior to the restoration of tidal marsh and adjacent uplands in Elkhorn Slough. The marshlands of the slough are disappearing at a rapid rate because of diking and draining, increased tidal flooding, and bank erosion, resulting in losses of highly productive fish and wildlife habitat. The planned restoration will raise the elevation of 50 acres of marsh through addition of sediments and restore 50 acres of grasslands to create a buffer between the estuary and farmland. (May)
                awarded $404,000 to the Elkhorn Slough Foundation to reconstruct a damaged levee and relocate and expand a dock at Whistlestop Lagoon in Elkhorn Slough. The damaged levee restricts water flow to and from the 13-acre lagoon and interferes with movements of fish and wildlife between the lagoon and neighboring waters. The project will replace a portion of the levee with a bridge that will greatly improve water flows and quality and allow people to safely cross to the popular Hummingbird Island and the slough’s main channel. A floating dock will also be relocated and lengthened to reduce disturbance to lagoon wildlife habitats. (August)

For Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, the Conservancy:
                provided $100,000 to the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation to produce a study that examines how shoreline areas may be vulnerable from future sea level rise in Monterey Bay. Some of the State’s highest rates of shoreline erosion are already found around Monterey Bay and the expected rise in sea levels will only exacerbate the resulting damage. The study will help local communities plan for and protect against future flooding and coastal erosion. (January)

For Santa Cruz County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $156,000 to the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County to plan for the restoration of natural resources in the Watsonville Slough area. The goals of the planning are to improve and protect wetlands, manage floodwaters, protect farmland, and help people get to and enjoy the area. The funding comes from a grant received by the Conservancy from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Coastal Wetland Conservation Grant program, and it follows many years of work by the Conservancy and other State, federal, and private agencies and organizations. (January)

For the Coastside of San Mateo County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $200,000 to the California State Parks Foundation to produce detailed construction drawings for the restoration of the Pigeon Point Light Station south of Pescadero. Tours of the lighthouse were suspended in 2001 when chunks of brick and iron began falling 115 feet from the top of the lighthouse to the ground, and nothing short of a major restoration is needed to save the structure and re-open it to the public. The 150-year-old light station features the tallest lighthouse on the West Coast and attracts more than 100,000 visitors annually. (May)

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
For the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, the Conservancy:
                provided $2.56 million to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the construction of tidal wetlands and pond habitats near Alviso in Santa Clara County. The work is part of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project, which aims to restore 15,100 acres of former salt ponds to tidal wetlands and ponds managed for wildlife habitat. The project will improve the quality of bay waters, moderate the effects of storms and shoreline flooding, and assist bay communities in adapting to sea level rise. The California Department of Water Resources provided $1.2 million of the Conservancy’s grant and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provided $700,000. The Conservancy also made $546,000—most of which was provided by the U.S. EPA—available for research into the risks of environmental contamination by mercury at the former salt ponds. (January and October)
                made $550,000 available for the Living Shorelines Project, which aims to restore underwater wildlife habitats in San Francisco Bay and help communities prepare for the rise in sea level that is expected to result from climate change. The funding follows $1 million awarded in 2010 and will be used for two pilot projects on the San Rafael shoreline in Marin County and offshore from Eden Landing Ecological Reserve in Hayward, Alameda County. The projects will examine the ability of restored native oyster and eelgrass beds to protect shoreline areas that are vulnerable to seal level rise and shoreline erosion. The State Wildlife Conservation Board is providing $300,000 of the available funding. (March)
                made $684,000 available for the ongoing effort to eradicate invasive Spartina, non-native varieties of cordgrass that threaten native wildlife habitats in and around San Francisco Bay. The Conservancy has been working since 1999 to eradicate the noxious weeds and the effort has succeeded in reducing the range of the infestation from a high of 800 acres to an estimated 45 acres at the end of 2011. Formerly infested sites are now being replanted with native vegetation. The funding for this stage of the project came from the Port of Oakland. (August)
                awarded $390,000 to the San Francisco Parks Alliance to conduct conservation planning in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, including outreach and coordination among public and private conservation organizations. Activities will be undertaken through the Bay Area Open Space Council, which includes more than 50 nonprofit conservation organizations and public land-management agencies that work throughout the Bay Area. (December)
                granted $100,000 to the American Farmland Trust to complete the Bay Area Agricultural Sustainability Plan for the support of working farms in the San Francisco Bay Area. The objectives of the plan are to expand production on local farms, develop regional markets, and assist farmers in getting their products to consumers. (March)
                approved funding for projects to extend and improve the San Francisco Bay Trail in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Sonoma counties—information about these projects is provided in the county listings that follow. The Bay Trail will one day encircle San Francisco and San Pablo bays with a continuous 500-mile network of bicycling and hiking trails along or near the shoreline. About 310 miles of the trail—over 60 percent of its ultimate length—have been completed.
                approved funding for projects to extend and improve the Bay Area Ridge Trail in San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Contra Costa counties—information about these projects is provided in the county listings that follow. The Ridge Trail will one day contain a continuous 550-mile network of hiking, bicycling, and equestrian trails on the ridgelines encircling San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. About 340 miles of the trail are now open to the public.

For San Francisco, the Conservancy:
                awarded $617,000 to the Port of San Francisco to improve public access to San Francisco’s southeast waterfront by removing creosote-treated pilings at Pier 84 in Islais Creek and preparing plans for the renovation of the Copra Crane as a waterfront/labor-history landmark. Pier 84’s pilings leach toxins into the creek, block views of San Francisco Bay and the creek, and are a navigational hazard. The deteriorating five-story crane is the last remaining artifact on the City’s waterfront from the days when longshoremen used hand-operated machinery to offload shipments from bulk cargo vessels. The funding comes from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and West Coast Recycling Company. (December)
                provided $400,000 to the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association to follow through with recommendations in the Ocean Beach Master Plan, in particular closure of the Great Highway south of Sloat Boulevard. SPUR will prepare plans to reconfigure roadways, extend public transit, and improve parking in the area. SPUR will also develop a joint management framework and agreement among the multiple agencies with management responsibilities for Ocean Beach. The five-mile length of Ocean Beach makes it one of the longest urban beaches in the country and it has the potential to become one of the most spectacular metropolitan beaches in the world. The Ocean Beach Master Plan was largely funded by the Conservancy and released in early 2012. (January)
                granted $250,000 to The Exploratorium to construct indoor and outdoor exhibits highlighting the history and natural environment of San Francisco Bay at the museum’s new site on Piers 15 and 17. The exhibits will include a Bay History Walk along a section of the San Francisco Bay Trail and hands-on, interactive exhibits that make use of the immediate bayfront location. The funding will also support a series of public workshops that will bring experts in a variety of fields to explore ideas about the science and environment of the bay. (October)

For Bayside and Inland San Mateo County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $282,000 to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District to construct a 69-space parking lot, restrooms, connector trails, and other improvements to the San Francisco Bay Area Ridge Trail at El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve on Skyline Boulevard. The preserve’s dramatic scenery, rugged terrain, and 36 miles of interior trails make it a popular destination, but it has no formal parking area or trails that are accessible to the disabled. The work is the first of four phases of construction that will ultimately include a new two-mile section of the Ridge Trail through the preserve. (March)
                provided $200,000 to Ducks Unlimited to restore wetlands at Middle Bair Island in Redwood City. The project will restore tidal flows to 571 acres and improve an additional 307 acres of existing wetlands. The restoration follows a decades-long public campaign to save the wetlands on Inner, Middle, and Outer Bair Islands and restore their marshlands, which are home to a wide variety of waterfowl and other wildlife. The funding follows $1.89 million awarded for the project in 2011. (August)


For Santa Clara County, the Conservancy:
                contributed $500,000 to The Nature Conservancy’s purchase of the 1,155-acre Nolan Ranch on the side of Mount Hamilton east of San Jose. The ranch has since been added to Joseph D. Grant County Park and links the park to the lands of UC-Santa Cruz’s Lick Observatory, expanding a nearly 70-mile stretch of protected lands from Pleasanton to Pacheco Pass. The purchase preserves migratory routes for wildlife, protects drinking water in downstream reservoirs, and provides a site for public trails that will include an extension of the Bay Area Ridge Trail to Mount Hamilton. (May)
                contributed $750,000 to the Peninsula Open Space Trust’s purchase of 490 acres adjacent to Mount Madonna County Park west of Gilroy. The property is slated for addition to the park and offers excellent opportunities to expand the regional trails network. A variety of high-quality wildlife habitats are found on the property including a portion of Little Arthur Creek, one of the County’s most productive spawning streams for steelhead trout. (October)
                contributed $250,000 to the Peninsula Open Space Trust’s purchase of a scenic 358-acre property adjacent to Uvas Reservoir County Park near Morgan Hill. The County expects to manage the property as an addition to the neighboring parkland and eventually to assume ownership. The property is home to many native species of plants and wildlife and was once slated for large-scale residential development. (October)
                awarded $169,000 to the County for construction and upgrade of segments of the Bay Area Ridge Trail at Sanborn Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Saratoga. The work will include a new 3.2-mile segment of the John Nicholas Trail and upgrades to 4.9 miles of the Skyline Trail—both part of the Ridge Trail—and will open the park to bicyclists for the first time. The project will create a continuous 22-mile Ridge Trail corridor from Lake Ranch in Sanborn Park northward to the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. (May)

For Alameda County, the Conservancy:
                contributed $750,000 to the East Bay Regional Park District’s acquisition of 1,368 acres for addition to Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park north of Sunol. The rugged property contains a variety of wildlife habitats in excellent condition and offers opportunities to greatly expand the trail system on neighboring parkland. (October)
                awarded $175,000 to the Alameda County Resource Conservation District to support the Alameda County Wildlife-Friendly Pond Restoration Program, which helps ranchers restore livestock ponds to benefit both cattle and wildlife. Many species of wildlife, including the threatened California red-legged frog and California tiger salamander, have long depended on stock ponds, but most of the 800-1,000 ponds in the eastern county rangelands are failing and the repair costs are not economical for ranchers. The program has been responsible for the restoration of 20 ponds since 2006. (October)
                provided $150,000 to the East Bay Regional Park District to design and obtain permits for improvements to Albany Beach in Eastshore State Park. The planned improvements include a new section of the San Francisco Bay Trail, an enhanced sandy beach, restored dunes and other native habitats, and a parking lot, restrooms, and other facilities for visitors. Albany Beach lies between the Golden Gate Fields horse racing track and the bay—a location that is expected to become very popular with visitors to the bay shoreline. The funding came from Caltrans as mitigation required by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. (March)

For Contra Costa County, the Conservancy:
                provided $2.17 million to the East Bay Regional Park District for wetlands restoration and trail construction at Breuner Marsh in the Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. The work will include removal of imported fill and hazardous materials, replacement of invasive vegetation with native plants, and dredging of channels to improve water circulation. A 1½-mile extension of the San Francisco Bay Trail will also be constructed on the uplands portion of the 150-acre site, along with a parking lot, restroom, picnic area, and spur trail to an overlook. The Conservancy’s award included $920,000 of grant funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (August)
                contributed $500,000 to the East Bay Regional Park District’s purchase of 51 acres of the Pacific Custom Materials Property to expand and improve Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline between Martinez and Port Costa. The property lies between two existing Regional Shoreline properties and offers opportunities for a campground, an extension of the San Francisco Bay Trail, and a landing site for the Bay Area Water Trail. (October)
                awarded $1.37 million to the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust to acquire agricultural conservation easements over the 166-acre Stenzel property near Brentwood. The property contains highly productive farmland within the County’s designated Agricultural Core. The easements will limit any future division of the property and help to ensure that the farmland remains in production. (May)
                awarded $500,000 to the City of Richmond to “daylight” and restore a 750-foot length of Baxter Creek and establish a four-acre greenbelt at the Miraflores Green Housing Project. The City will remove the culvert that now contains most of the creek at the site and restore the creek’s floodplain with natural meanders for the creek channel and native plants. The greenway will include a trail that links to the San Francisco Bay Trail along with a pedestrian bridge over the creek and community gardens. Local community groups, including Groundwork Richmond and Friends of the Richmond Greenway, will assist with the greenway’s maintenance. (October)
                authorized the Association of Bay Area Governments to provide $198,000 of Conservancy funds to the East Bay Regional Park District to construct ½ mile of the San Francisco Bay Trail near the Bio-Rad Laboratories campus in the City of Hercules. The trail, named the Bio-Rad Bay Trail, will be built into the side of a bluff overlooking San Pablo Bay and extend from an existing section of the Bay Trail in the Victoria-by-the-Bay neighborhood. The trail will eventually be linked to the City’s planned Intermodal Transit Center and is expected to be well used by bicyclists and pedestrians. (March)
                awarded $125,000 to the East Bay Regional Park District to construct three miles of the Bay Area Ridge Trail known as Martinez Feeder Trail #1 west of Martinez. The funding will also be used to survey an additional 0.7-mile future segment of the same trail. When completed, the trail will run from Dutra Road to Pereira Road and cross or skirt large areas of protected natural lands. (October)

For Solano County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $292,000 to the Solano Resource Conservation District to restore 53 acres of wildlife habitat along 1½ miles of Blue Rock Springs Creek in Vallejo. The project includes restoration of 25 acres of native oak woodland, creation of a 3½-acre native grassland demonstration site, and replacement of invasive weeds with native plants. Wardlaw Elementary School and Jesse Bethel High School are located along the creek and their students will be actively engaged in restoring and monitoring the site as part of an existing science education program supported by earlier Conservancy funding. Many other community volunteers will also be working on the project. (August)

For Napa County, the Conservancy:
                provided $1 million to the County to restore portions of a one-mile stretch of the Napa River between St. Helena and Oakville. The project is part of a greater restoration of the river’s Rutherford Reach that aims to reduce erosion of sediments into the river’s channel, improve habitat for salmon and steelhead trout, expand and improve wildlife habitat along the river’s corridor, and assist with flood management. Vintners and growers along the river are actively participating in the project. (January)

For Bayside and Inland Sonoma County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $3.5 million to the Sonoma Land Trust to restore a variety of wildlife habitats and construct visitor facilities at the 2,327-acre Sears Point property on San Pablo Bay. The project will restore tidal marsh, seasonal wetlands, upland grasslands, and creeks that together are habitats for vast numbers of wildlife. A new 2½-mile section of the San Francisco Bay Trail will connect existing portions of the trail from the intersection of Highways 37 and 121 to the Sonoma Baylands site on the Petaluma River. The California Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will reimburse the Conservancy with more than $2.2 million in grants for the project. (January and October)
                provided $162,000 to Sonoma Land Trust for design and permitting necessary to remove three barriers to migration of steelhead trout on Stuart Creek, a tributary of Sonoma Creek, and to construct a public parking lot and trail to the creek. The project aims to restore 2.2 miles of high-quality spawning and rearing habitat for the fish and enable people to access the Land Trust’s 3½-acre Stuart Creek Run property near Glen Ellen. (October)

For Bayside and Inland Marin County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $200,000 to PRBO Conservation Science for its Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed (STRAW) Program to establish native plants at the Hamilton Wetland Restoration Project in Novato. Much of the 150-acre project site was recently surfaced with large volumes of materials dredged from San Francisco Bay to create seasonal wetlands. The project is expected to involve 1,300 to 1,600 students and teachers from local schools, and the plantings and subsequent monitoring will be incorporated into the schools’ science programs. (August)
                awarded $200,000 to the Marin Audubon Society to complete the restoration of tidal wetlands at Bahia Lagoon in Novato. The project site contains more than 400 acres of tidal and seasonal wetlands adjacent to oak woodlands and other protected wildlife habitats. The restoration will greatly expand habitats for fish, waterfowl, and other wildlife, and it follows the first phase of restoration that was completed in 2009. (August)

NORTH COAST
For the Coastside of Marin County, the Conservancy:
                contributed $2.6 million to the Marin Agricultural Land Trust’s purchase of agricultural conservation easements over the 1,194-acre Barboni Ranch in Hicks Valley north of Nicasio. The easements will support the continued operation of the ranch’s grazing lands while protecting its natural resources and wildlife habitats. MALT already held conservation easements on neighboring properties, and this purchase resulted in a protected block of more than 9,000 acres of farmland. The California Department of Transportation contributed $1.6 million of the Conservancy’s funding. (March and October)
                awarded $263,000 to the Marin Resource Conservation District to help ranchers reduce soil erosion and improve water quality and wildlife habitat in the Tomales Bay watershed. The funding is supporting work on two ranches, one along Walker Creek and the other east of Dillon Beach. The work will conserve ranchland, prevent eroded sediment from entering creeks that drain to Tomales Bay, and improve habitats for a wide variety of animals including coho salmon, river otters, and mountain lions. The projects are part of the RCD’s Conserving Our Watershed (COW) program, and they benefit from the Marin Coastal Watersheds Permit Coordination Program, established with Conservancy funding provided in 2001. (October)

For the Coastside of Sonoma County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $300,000 to the Endangered Habitats Conservancy to prepare a conceptual design for restoration of an abandoned gravel quarry on the Russian River floodplain near Windsor. The aim of the project is to restore the 357-acre Hanson Aggregates property to a complex of ponds, wetlands, and forested areas that would serve as habitat for salmon and other fish and wildlife and reduce the risk of downstream flooding. (May)

For Mendocino County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $1.36 million to the City of Fort Bragg to build more than four miles of trails, restore native vegetation, and purchase the four-acre Soldier Point property for addition to Noyo Headlands Park on the former Georgia-Pacific Mill site. The new Ka Kahleh Coastal Trail—an addition to the California Coastal Trail—will enable the public to reach the majority of the City’s coastline for the first time in generations. The funding will also support the construction of parking areas and other visitor facilities. (October)
                provided $220,000 to the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council to construct two trails across the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness to Sinkyone Wilderness State Park in the remote Lost Coast. The trails—one running for about 1.2 miles and the other for about 0.5 miles—will provide inland links from Usal County Road to the California Coastal Trail in the State Park. Currently, the State Park can only be reached from its southern and northern boundaries. (October)
                awarded $79,000 to Save the Redwoods League for planning and design of a new two-mile section of the California Coastal Trail on the Usal-Shady Dell Creek Property in the Lost Coast. The new trail will extend southward from the existing Lost Coast Trail in Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, wind through the Trees of Mystery, cross Shady Dell Creek, and continue to the rugged coastline. The 957-acre property was purchased by the League in 2011 largely with Conservancy funding. (October)
                contributed $66,000 to the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s purchase of the 65-acre Hunt property to add to the Inglenook Fen-Ten Mile Dunes Natural Preserve in MacKerricher State Park north of Fort Bragg. The property is a private inholding within the park that contains a large block of relatively pristine coastal dunes, coastal prairie, and wetlands along Ten Mile River. (December)
                awarded $60,000 to the Mendocino Land Trust to construct ¾ miles of the California Coastal Trail to Hare Creek Beach on the southern boundary of Fort Bragg. The beach is now accessible only from an informal trail that is unsigned and frequently missed by hikers on the Coastal Trail. The new trail will connect to a parking area on Redwood Community College property and lead southward to the beach. The land trust purchased the Hare Creek Beach property in 2010 with Conservancy funding. (August)
                granted $10,000 to the Moat Creek Managing Agency for its continued operation and maintenance of a restroom, parking lot, and trails at Moat Creek Beach and along the Moat Creek segment of the California Coastal Trail south of Point Arena. The trails and facilities came about from an early and successful Conservancy project to reduce the density of the Whiskey Shoals subdivision west of Highway 1. (May)

For Humboldt County, the Conservancy:
                awarded $250,000 to the Coastal Ecosystems Institute of Northern California to prepare a sea level rise adaptation plan for the Humboldt Bay Region. The plan will help the region’s communities develop and employ strategies to protect environmental and economic resources in the face of a changing climate. A working group convened through the County and the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District will oversee the plan’s preparation. The Conservancy also awarded $85,000 to the Harbor District to study the feasibility of using dredged materials to restore marshlands and adapt to sea level rise around the bay. Materials dredged to clear shipping channels, ports, and marinas have been invaluable for marshlands restoration and shoreline protection in other areas—most notably San Francisco Bay. (January and October)
                provided $224,000 to the Northcoast Regional Land Trust to purchase the 20-acre Freshwater Farms Nursery on Freshwater Creek just east of Eureka. The property adjoins 54 acres acquired by the land trust with Conservancy funding in 2005 that have been improved for salmon and trout habitat, agriculture, and public use. The new acquisition will allow expansion of the tidal marsh restoration, continuation of a native plant nursery, and extension of the neighboring site’s public trail. (January)
                provided $210,000 to the Salt River Watershed Council for its purchase of the 23-acre Toste property on the Salt River near Ferndale. About one-third of the property will be returned to the river’s active floodplain and managed as part of the Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project. Most of the property’s remainder will be dedicated to pasture or other farming uses, and a public trail or roadway is planned for visitors to the river and restoration site. The goals of the restoration project include improvements to habitat for salmon, trout, and other wildlife, management of floodwaters, and protection of the extensive farmland along the length of the river. (May)
                awarded $235,000 to the City of Arcata to restore 212 acres of the McDaniel Slough wetlands along Arcata Bay. The work will restore tidal flows and migratory fish passage to former salt marsh and protect neighboring properties with new levees that will be topped with public trails. The project is the final step in a series of property acquisitions, planning, and restoration of neighboring areas that began in 1998. (October)
                granted $90,000 to the Redwood Community Action Agency to prepare conceptual plans for a new section of the California Coastal Trail from the south end of Scenic Drive near Moonstone Beach County Park to the south bank of Little River at Little River State Beach. The new trail would close a 0.8-mile gap in the Coastal Trail that forces pedestrians and bicyclists onto the edge Highway 101. (October)

For Del Norte County, the Conservancy:
awarded $2.35 million to the Crescent City Harbor District to construct visitor-serving improvements, including a promenade around the Inner Boat Basin, at the Crescent City Harbor. The improvements will include a new ½-mile section of the California Coastal Trail that will link the harbor to the edge of downtown. The project is part of an effort to revitalize the City’s harbor and encourage tourism, an important component of the local economy. (October)



Accomplishments

The Coastal Conservancy serves all Californians and visitors to the State who are interested in enjoying, improving, and protecting the spectacular natural resources of the California coast and San Francisco Bay.
Since its establishment in 1976, the Coastal Conservancy has:
                completed more than 1,500 projects in every coastal county and all nine San Francisco Bay Area counties, with hundreds more projects currently active. These projects include construction of trails and other public access facilities, restoration and enhancement of wetlands and other wildlife habitat, protection of near-shore ocean waters, restoration of public piers and urban waterfronts, preservation of farmland, and other projects in line with the goals of California’s Coastal Act, the San Francisco Bay Plan, the San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy, and the California Ocean Protection Act;
                helped preserve more than 300,000 acres of wetlands, dunes, wildlife habitat, recreational lands, farmland, and scenic open space;
                helped build several hundreds of miles of accessways and trails, including major portions of the California Coastal Trail and the San Francisco Bay and Ridge Trails;
                assisted in the completion of more than 100 urban waterfront projects, enabling local communities to reclaim waterfront properties for recreational use and economic development;
                retired hundreds of lots in inappropriately planned subdivisions throughout the coast, thereby preserving natural and scenic lands, protecting farmland, and providing recreational opportunities;joined in partnership endeavors with more than 100 local land trusts and other nonprofit groups, making local community involvement an integral part of the Coastal Conservancy’s work.

The following are links to projects highlighted by year on the Conservancy's website"

North Coast Project Links

Central Coast Project Links

South Coast Project Links

San Francisco Bay Area Project Links



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