Proposition 1 Cycle 1 Awarded Grants

1503 – Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Habitat and Drainage Improvement Project

Grantee: Ducks Unlimited
Amount: $2,026,813.63
Coordinates: -121.623001098633, 38.5421981811523

This project will provide new and enhanced habitat for migrating waterfowl and other species, improve agricultural sustainability and wildlife-friendly agricultural practices, and increase public access opportunities through the construction of drainage and water infrastructure improvements in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. The project is the top priority in the 2014 Yolo Bypass Drainage and Water Infrastructure Improvement Study, developed collaboratively with local agencies, farmers, wetlands managers, and other stakeholders. The project will create 220 acres of new wetlands and improve water management on 1,250 acres of existing wetlands and 540 acres of agricultural land. The project will also increase public access by an average of 7 days per year by reducing localized flooding resulting from insufficient capacity in the existing drainage and water supply system.

1505 – Fish Friendly Farming Certification Program for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Grantee: California Land Stewardship Institute
Amount: $89,450

The Delta suffers from several water quality problems related to agriculture including pesticide pollution and low dissolved oxygen. Organochlorine pesticides, although removed from use in 1972, remain in agricultural soils, and organophosphate pesticides are used widely in the Delta. Low dissolved oxygen can result from fertilizer/nutrient runoff. Improving water quality in the Delta requires recognizing that sources of pollutants are distributed throughout the Delta, and that there are many pathways for pollutants to reach waterways. Source control of these pollutants requires changing cultivation and agricultural practices in as many locations as possible. The Fish Friendly Farming (FFF) Certification Program is a voluntary program which has enrolled more than 140,000 acres of agricultural lands in eight counties in California. The FFF program has already developed Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) to improve water quality for wine grapes, peaches, pears, nectarines, plums, strawberries, apples, walnuts, cherries and livestock grazing. This project will produce a version of the FFF program for the Delta. The FFF program will reduce polluted runoff through collaborative efforts with growers to change cultivation and land management practices.

1508 – Sherman Island Wetland Restoration Project, Phase III

Grantee: Ducks Unlimited
Amount: $99,966
Coordinates: -121.7570038, 38.06000137

This project will advance the restoration of up to 1,600 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands. The restoration project is located on a portion of Sherman Island which is owned by the California Department of Water Resources. The property is currently managed for flood irrigated pasture and includes a regular and extensive disturbance regime associated with field prepping, disking, and grazing. The restoration project focuses on the restoration of palustrine emergent wetlands, complemented with upland riparian forest, scrub shrub, and grassland to add diversity of structure and habitat to the site. Restoration of wetlands will be accomplished by upgrading existing water management infrastructure and installing new infrastructure such as water control structures and water conveyance channels and swales. The restoration project will combine the wildlife benefits of wetland restoration with the importance of reversing Delta island subsidence. The purpose of the wetland sequestration restoration projects is to reverse subsidence by capturing atmospheric carbon and converting it to organic material, which in turn creates new soil surface material.

1509 – Three Creeks Parkway Restoration Project

Grantee: American Rivers
Amount: $836,409
Coordinates: -121.7089996, 37.93709946

American Rivers and its partners (the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed, the Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, and the City of Brentwood) are working on this multi-benefit ecosystem restoration project at the confluence of Marsh, Sand, and Deer Creeks (Three Creeks) to convert a denuded flood control channel into a healthy riparian corridor. This project will restore native vegetation on 12.5 acres along nearly a mile of Marsh Creek, and floodplain and riparian habitat along 4,000 linear feet of creek. These restoration actions will increase flood protection and contribute to achieving water quality objectives in the Delta. The project will also maximize voluntary landowner participation: all of the project site landowners are involved in and supportive of proposed efforts. The project’s goal is to reestablish the thriving habitat and functional floodplains that are at the heart of healthy creek and wetland ecosystems. The project will greatly enhance the habitat and resilience of the Marsh Creek watershed ecosystem, including increasing resilience to climate change. It will also improve the quality of life for Delta residents in one of the most densely-developed areas of the Delta by reducing flood risk, improving recreational opportunities, and providing a place to make meaningful connections with the natural world of the Delta region. This project is an early step in a larger effort by a collaborative team to restore and improve habitat along the entire length of Marsh Creek from Mount Diablo to the Delta.

1512 – Paradise Cut Conservation and Flood Management Plan

Grantee: San Joaquin County RCD
Amount: $99,924
Coordinates: -121.3119965, 37.74760056

This project has advanced plans for a new flood bypass that will reduce flood risk, improve habitat and maintain agricultural land along the San Joaquin River south of Paradise Cut. This bypass was identified as a priority in the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan. The new bypass will substantially reduce flood stage (1.5 – 3 feet) on the mainstem San Joaquin between Mossdale and Stockton; reduce risk of catastrophic flooding in Lathrop, Manteca, Stockton, and unincorporated San Joaquin County; substantially increase flood conveyance capacity of the San Joaquin floodway; provide floodplain and riparian habitat for a variety of sensitive species including riparian brush rabbit, giant garter snake, Sacramento splittail, and juvenile Chinook salmon; and preserve agricultural land and protect it from uncontrolled flooding. This project has identified, analyzed, and advanced near-term restoration projects associated with Paradise Cut; quantified costs and benefits so that flood managers and other potential implementation funders can make better investment decisions; determined a strategy to expedite successful permitting; completed a finance strategy for subsequent project phases, including project implementation and long-term operations and maintenance; completed materials for NEPA/CEQA analysis; and informed local residents and officials so they understand the pros and cons of the project. The project team has also been awarded a separate grant by the Conservancy for Phase 2 of the project.

1516 – Yolo Bypass Corridors for Flood Escape on the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

Grantee: Yolo Resource Conservation District
Amount: $836,234
Coordinates: -121.6360016, 38.56309891

This project addresses regional and Delta priorities and objectives, bringing together a deep partnership to restore a portion of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (YBWA) in the Yolo Basin. Yolo Resource Conservation District’s project partners include the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, the Yolo Basin Foundation, the Putah Creek Council, the Center for Land-Based Learning, Point Blue Conservation Science, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the California Conservation Corps, UC Davis, lease-holding farmers and ranchers, and the general public. The project goals are to address wildlife flood-safety problems and enhance year round habitat in the YBWA, and use regional partnerships to implement a pilot restoration program to provide educational opportunities and create public connections to habitat restoration in the Delta. Five miles (twenty-two acres) of new habitat in two corridors will provide cover for wildlife escaping flood events; enhance year-round habitat for migratory birds, pollinators and other wildlife; and provide a public-access demonstration planting. This work will be the first partner-based effort to integrate new wildlife habitat with ongoing agricultural operations on the property. High school students and community volunteers will engage  in hands-on learning about restoration and planting in the corridor areas, to expose the public to usually off-limits parts of the bypass and expand awareness and understanding of the area’s importance for flood safety, agriculture and wildlife. The project will help guide next restoration steps, engage hundreds of participants in project implementation, and create enhanced awareness and appreciation of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area and its values and functions.

1519 – Lower Marsh Creek and Sand Creek Watershed Riparian Restoration Planning

Grantee: American Rivers
Amount: $73,493
Coordinates: -121.7070007, 37.93790054

The Marsh Creek watershed, located in eastern Contra Costa County, provides an important ecological corridor in a growing urban area of the Delta. Unfortunately, the watershed is significantly degraded, provides limited habitat, and contributes polluted run-off to the Delta. During the past 15 years, American Rivers’ staff has been working with partners in the region to realize a large-scale, multi-benefit vision to improve habitat, water quality, flood protection and recreational opportunities along the watershed’s creeks. The pace and scale of restoration and conservation efforts in this area are not keeping up with urban development, which limits further opportunities. This project is part of a two-prong strategic approach to increasing the pace and scale of restoration and advancing specific on-the-ground efforts: 1) develop a programmatic CEQA document for the lower Marsh and Sand Creek watersheds that will facilitate permitting of multi-benefit projects; and 2) improve stormwater management and ensure it is integrated with creek restoration. This approach will allow project proponents to advance and implement many restoration and water quality opportunities that have been identified in the last few years. The outcomes anticipated include: 1) improved water quality in Marsh and Sand Creeks and their receiving waters; 2) improved flood management and ecosystem resilience to climate change; 3) creation of restored urban greenways along Marsh and Sand Creek from the Diablo Range to the Delta;  4) improved flood protection and restored riparian habitat in Marsh and Sand Creek; and 5) expedited implementation of projects consistent with the Delta Conservancy’s Strategic Plan and the purposes of Proposition 1.