Biden-Harris Administration recommends funding of $60.3 million for projects in northern California to strengthen Climate-Ready Coasts as part of Investing in America agenda

A photo collage of just some of the projects being recommended for funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and NOAA's Climate-Ready Coasts initiative.

A photo collage of just some of the projects being recommended for funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and NOAA's Climate-Ready Coasts initiative. (Image credit: NOAA)

Today, Vice President Harris announced that the Department of Commerce has recommended $60.3 million for projects across northern California to make communities and the economy resilient to climate change, as part of the Investing in America agenda. Across northern California, 13 projects will create jobs and boost economic and environmental outcomes for coastal communities. The awards are made under the Biden Administration’s Climate-Ready Coasts initiative funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) with additional funds leveraged from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). 

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to helping California communities prepare for and recover from the ecological and economic devastation of extreme weather events,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This generational investment in climate readiness will help recover key salmon and kelp species, remove marine debris and litter, and strengthen wetlands that current and future generations of Californians will rely on for their quality of life and economic prosperity.”

Administered by the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Climate-Ready Coasts initiative is focused on investing in high-impact projects that create climate solutions by storing carbon; build resilience to coastal hazards such as extreme weather events, pollution and marine debris; restore coastal habitats that help wildlife and humans thrive; build the capacity of underserved communities and support community-driven restoration; and provide employment opportunities.

“These projects will not only advance floodplain and wetland habitat restoration and protection efforts across northern California, but also greatly strengthen our climate resilience throughout local communities, benefitting the wider ecosystem as a whole,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “NOAA is proud to recommend these projects to help coastal communities invest in their future and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.”

“As the climate crisis continues to threaten coastal communities in California and across the country, this funding will help us build the resilient infrastructure necessary to protect against rising sea levels, eroding coastlines, and more frequent and intense storms,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “These funds will also help us better protect our communities while stimulating local economic development. I will continue working to make critical investments in California’s infrastructure to better protect communities up and down our coastline.”

“The importance of healthy, climate-resilient coasts cannot be overstated. The economy, jobs, recreation, and the culture and subsistence of tribes are all centered around the iconic coastlines and thriving ecosystems of our region. But climate change and underfunding have left our coastal communities under serious threat,” said Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-02). “We have a responsibility to protect these places, which is why I strongly advocated for this funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. I’m incredibly glad to see investments going towards so many great projects in my district that will have an enormous impact for all that rely on our coasts.”

“Funding for the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its Climate Ready Coasts initiative, made available through the IRA and BIL, will help our coastal communities develop and implement strategies to tackle the climate crisis more effectively,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12). “Californians are acutely aware of the impacts the climate crisis has on our communities, and funding these much-needed solutions is essential for maintaining resilient and healthy neighborhoods. I commend the Biden-Harris administration for taking this step. We have seen some progress, but now we must act urgently, do the work and fight for climate justice.”

“Climate change is a serious threat which negatively impacted California this last winter, particularly on its coast,” said Congressman Kevin Mullin (CA-15). “I am pleased that the latest deployment of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act will support NOAA’s Climate Ready Coasts Initiative, which includes funding for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to remove large marine debris from five national sanctuaries, such as the Greater Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries and the Channel Island National Park. This project will not only benefit the ocean’s fragile ecosystem, but also those who enjoy visiting these vibrant places located off the California Coast.”

These projects are part of NOAA’s nearly $6 billion total investment under BIL and IRA. Recommended projects and funding amounts in northern California include:

  • High-Impact and Large Marine Debris Removal throughout the National Marine Sanctuary System
    National Marine Sanctuary Foundation: $14.9 million
    Funding Source: Marine Debris Removal Competition
    This project will remove large marine debris from five national marine sanctuaries and two Tribal ancestral waters located off the coasts of Washington, California, Texas and Louisiana including the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Channel Islands National Park, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in partnership with California State Parks. 
  • Lower Russian Watershed Coho Habitat Restoration Project
    Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District: $8.4 million 
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants  
    This investment will enhance stream connectivity, improve wetlands, and remove stream barriers to fish which will help reduce flooding in surrounding communities, which have become more frequently inundated as the region’s precipitation comes in larger, less predictable storm events. The wetland and floodplain restoration will take place at seven sites in two high-priority tributaries in the lower Russian River watershed. The work will advance recovery efforts for Endangered Species Act-listed Central California Coast coho salmon by removing barriers to fish migration.
  • Mendocino Coast Transformational Habitat Restoration for Coho Salmon Recovery
    The Nature Conservancy: $8.3 million  
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants 
    This investment will benefit endangered Central California Coast coho salmon and threatened California Coastal Chinook by restoring high-priority habitat on three rivers in coastal Mendocino County. These landscape-scale actions will benefit listed salmon through the restoration of floodplain habitat and function by increasing instream complexity across several sites. Improved floodplain water storage capacity will help buffer downstream communities from the impacts of climate change and extreme weather. Employment opportunities for local underserved communities and engagement with local tribes are also a focus for the project.
  • Prairie Creek Floodplain Restoration Project Phase 4
    California State Coastal Conservancy: $7 million 
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants
    The investment will support recovery of key salmon species and will provide an opportunity for the Yurok Tribe to implement restoration efforts on their ancestral lands in Humboldt County. Restoration will strengthen the resilience of both salmon and local communities to climate change by helping maintain cool stream temperatures in a warming climate and reducing flooding. This project builds on several years of continuous effort and magnifies the total project impact by restoring and enhancing streams, wetlands, and other habitat, and connecting to a new channel constructed during a previous phase. This project will also identify future floodplain reconnection opportunities and develop conceptual designs for the top three. 
  • Restoring Rearing Habitat for Juvenile Coho Salmon, Smith River 
    Smith River Alliance: $5.4 million     
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants
    This investment will restore habitat in the Smith River watershed to support one of the largest runs of salmon and steelhead in California. This work will also help improve the climate resilience of local communities. As part of the project, an existing bridge will be relocated and replaced with a new structure that will withstand stronger storms, which will help improve the resilience of Del Norte County against future flood and wildfire risk that may become more extreme in a changing climate.
  • Restoring Kelp Forest Habitat in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
    Greater Farallones Association: $4.9 million 

    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants
    Warming waters have dramatically affected bull kelp, which is a foundational species in the ecosystem. This project will restore approximately 50 acres of kelp forest habitat by removing purple sea urchins and planting bull kelp at four locations along the northern Sonoma County coastline in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. In 2014-2016, more than 90 percent of bull kelp forest habitat in northern California was lost and its decline has cascading effects on recreational and commercial fisheries. 
  • Priority Coho Salmon and Steelhead Watershed Restoration, Northern Santa Cruz Mountains
    San Mateo County Resource Conservation District: $4.9 million  
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants 
    This investment will restore habitat for Central California Coast coho salmon and steelhead in three watersheds (San Gregorio, Pescadero-Butano, Gazos Creek) in northern California which have been severely degraded and transformed by logging and agriculture. The area currently experiences severe drought, more intense winter storms, flooding, and forest fires. Work across 18 habitat restoration projects will help open streams to fish passage, reconnect floodplains, and create and restore habitat that will support multiple life stages of salmon. This work will benefit local communities, including Pescadero, by reducing flooding and improving community access to a clean, reliable water supply.
  • Commercially Scalable End-Of-Life Solutions for Agriculture Field Plastic Films Used in Watersheds Draining to National Marine Sanctuaries
    California Sea Grant: $2.7 million 
    Funding Source: Marine Debris Challenge Competition 
    California Sea Grant will collaborate with a talented cross-sector team from agriculture, engineering, recycling and marine conservation to develop technologies and best management practices that will maximize the removal of polyethylene mulch film from agricultural fields and make it an attractive feedstock for manufacturing new plastics. The project involve historically excluded communities in California in creating innovative solutions to address plastic pollution and marine debris resulting in a collaborative effort to transform growing techniques and processes that work with industry to prevent marine debris from entering the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.
  • A Tribal-Scientific Alliance to Restore Red Abalone in Northern California’s Kelp Forest Ecosystem 
    Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria: $1.6 million
    Funding Source: Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities 
    The Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria will build their capacity to participate in and lead abalone restoration on their ancestral lands. They will take steps toward establishing a tribal breeding program for red abalone and will train and employ tribal divers to conduct ecological monitoring. They will also pilot experimental removals of purple sea urchins to help reduce pressure on bull kelp, which provides important habitat for red abalone.  
  • Ackerman Creek Restoration Design Project 
    Pinoleville Pomo Nation: $739,000
    Funding Source: Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities 
    The Pinoleville Pomo Nation will develop a plan for reconnecting Ackerman Creek, a tributary of California’s Russian River, to its floodplain. Recommended funding will support tribal staff positions to collaborate with partners and lead the planning effort. A series of collaborative workshops will provide opportunities for tribal members and other community members to provide feedback and share cultural and traditional ecological knowledge throughout the process.  
  • Red Cap Creek Floodplain Restoration Project 
    Mid Klamath Watershed Council: $519,000
    Funding Source: Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities 
    The Mid Klamath Watershed Council will partner with the Karuk Tribe to restore habitat in Red Cap Creek, a tributary of the Klamath River located on Karuk Tribal ancestral lands. They will implement high-priority restoration needed for the recovery of coho salmon, a species central to the diet and culture of local indigenous communities. Hands-on opportunities for young people, such as internships, will help engage the next generation in environmental stewardship.  
  • Salmon River Tributary Salmonid Habitat Enhancement Project 
    Salmon River Restoration Council: $457,000
    Funding Source: Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities 
    The Salmon River Restoration Council will advance habitat restoration planning efforts in three tributaries of the South Fork and Mainstem Salmon River in the Klamath Basin, near to the remote rural communities of Sawyers Bar, Forks of Salmon, Cecilville, and Somes Bar, California. The restoration sites are located in the ancestral territory of the Karuk Tribe, who will provide direct input throughout all levels of the project. 
  • Advancing Equitable Resources to Marine Debris Solutions Through California’s Ocean Litter Strategy
    California Sea Grant: $298,000
    Funding Source: Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions
    This project will help strengthen the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Accessibility focus of the California Ocean Litter Prevention Strategy to increase the accessibility, equitability, and justice of litter pollution solutions in California. This project aims to increase involvement of traditionally underserved community-based groups and California Tribes into marine debris conversations and actions that affect the state of California by identifying the needs of local communities and establishing a coalition to inform coordinated investments in community-based marine debris solutions.
  • A Path Forward: Codesigning Habitat Protection and Restoration and Community Resilience
    Restoration Planning for China Camp State Park: $202,000    
    Funding Source: National Estuarine Research Reserve System Habitat Protection and Restoration Grants
    This investment will support planning efforts to restore the marsh at China Camp State Park, part of the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The project will ultimately reconnect tidal and watershed hydrology to improve ecological functions, as well as to maintain access to the park for recreation, education, subsistence fishing, and tribal and Chinese cultural practices.


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