CWA Granted $1M for Wetlands in San Jacinto & San Diego

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Sarah Swenty

March 14, 2008 Public Information Officer
cell- 916-275-1018

California Waterfowl Granted $1M for Wetlands in San Jacinto and San Diego
California Waterfowl received $1 million in grant funds to improve 1,200 acres of wetlands in San Jacinto Valley and San Diego Bay. Beneficiaries of the work include the endangered California least tern, endangered light-footed clapper rail, threatened western snowy plover and a host of wetland dependant species. These public and private lands are dedicated to providing homes for waterfowl, shorebird and other wetland dependant species.


(San Diego/San Jacinto, CA) March 14, 2008 – California Waterfowl received a $1 million grant for wetland habitat restoration and improvements in two important areas for wildlife in southern California. Money spent at the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge’s Sweetwater Marsh in south San Diego Bay, will improve tidal marsh conditions and improve breeding habitat for the federally listed California least tern (endangered), light-footed clapper rail (endangered) and the western snowy plover (threatened). Additional restoration will occur in the San Jacinto Valley on the state owned San Jacinto Wildlife Area and on 3 nearby private properties dedicated to wildlife.

“California Waterfowl has been working for more than 20 years to restore the state’s wetlands and this grant expands our conservation efforts in Southern California. By increasing and improving overall habitat conditions for all species that rely on wetland and riparian habitats this grant and the partners involved are making a difference for all wildlife,” California Waterfowl’s Senior Biologist and project supervisor Chadd Santerre explained.

The grant was awarded by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Work on the project will begin in the spring of 2008 and will continue through the end of 2009. Major contributing partners include the state’s Wildlife Conservation Board, California Department of Fish and Game, the Sonoran Joint Venture, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Port of San Diego and California Waterfowl.

California Waterfowl is a widely respected nonprofit, hunter-supported conservation organization with a mission to conserve the state’s waterfowl, wetlands, and hunting heritage. The association has received numerous awards, including Conservationist of the Year in 2006 from The Wildlife Society. In the last 20 years they’ve restored, protected or enhanced more than 300,000 acres, providing habitat for millions of birds and animals, and introduced more than 250,000 children to the wonders of the great outdoors.

For more info, please visit www.calwaterfowl.org


Additional Project Information

The Sweetwater Marsh will see several remnant water control structures and an old roadbed from the WWII era removed to improve tidal flows within the marsh, creating a much healthier tidal marsh ecosystem for the light-footed clapper rail any many other dependent species. Improvements to the breeding habitat of the western snowy plover and California least tern will also take place on the D-Street Nesting Area. Extensive erosion has contributed to the decline in snowy plovers nesting at the site by limiting access of the plover chicks to the sandy beach. The grant hopes to reverse this process and help bring back locally nesting plovers.

"Funding from this grant will enable the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge to implement important enhancement projects within the Sweetwater Marsh Unit that will benefit numerous coastal species including migratory birds and the endangered light-footed clapper rail," said Andy Yuen, Project Leader for the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

The grant also benefits the San Jacinto Wildlife Area by increasing the managed wetland habitats available to wildlife. A wooded riparian corridor will also be established for the benefit of many locally nesting birds. Tens of thousands of waterfowl and shorebirds will benefit thanks to enhanced management capabilities and improved water efficiency at the wildlife area. The work that is planned will make limited water supplies go farther and produce better wetland management results thus improving conditions for all wetland dependent species in the future.

In addition, similar improvements will also occur on three privately owned properties near the San Jacinto Wildlife Area that have preserved nearly 600 acres of habitat in perpetuity for wildlife.
 

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