Rep. Huffman Announces Over $20 Million to Restore Fish Passages, Increase Climate Resiliency
San Rafael, CA – Today, U.S. Representative Jared Huffman (CA-02) announced new grants for his district from the FY22 National Culvert Removal, Replacement, and Restoration Grant Program (Culvert AOP Program). Last Wednesday, Huffman visited the site of one of these projects to examine how the award will be utilized and the local impacts.
"Undersized and poorly placed culverts are a major impediment to salmon and steelhead trying to reach important spawning grounds,” said Rep. Huffman. “This funding will open miles of habitat for federally protected fish while improving the safety and function of roadway structures – which is increasingly important as we face more frequent flooding due to climate change. It's a major win-win that will help improve our region for travelers and our iconic species alike."
Rep. Huffman tours Caltrans’ culvert fish barrier project along the Avenue of the Giants.
The grants have been awarded as follows:
- $470,000 for the Wiyot Tribe Butte Creek Fish Barrier Replacement Design, Humboldt County
- Project Details: The Wiyot Tribe proposes to design a new stream crossing structure to replace a culvert and provide unimpeded access to the headwaters of the watershed. The existing double-barrel culvert (each 13-feet wide x 3-feet tall x 75-feet long) on Butte Creek occurs along a road maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Arcata Field Office.
- $5,000,000 for the Avenue of the Giants Fish Passage, Humboldt County
- Project Details: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) proposes to replace two fish passage barrier culverts with bridges along State Route 254 within Humboldt Redwoods State Park in the Eel River watershed in Humboldt County, California. This application will remediate fish passage barriers for salmon and steelhead trout, which are ESA listed species, and provide anadromous fish access to over 4,100 meters (2.55 miles) of high-quality spawning and rearing habitat in Chadd Creek and Mowry Creek.
- $15,000,000 for the State Route MEN-1 Fish Passage, Mendocino County
- Project Details: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) proposes to replace two highway culverts with full-span bridges along State Route (SR) 1 in Mendocino County to remediate anadromous fish passage barriers to Coho salmon and steelhead trout. This work will improve the safety of the traveling public by building a structure with a longer service life and will be more resilient to climate change. In addition, the structures will have wider shoulders which will improve the safety of all roadway users.
The National Culvert Removal, Replacement and Restoration Grants is an annual competitive grant program that awards funding for projects to replace, remove, and repair culverts or weirs in a way that meaningfully improves or restores fish passage for anadromous fish (fish born in freshwater who spend most of their lives in saltwater and return to freshwater to spawn, such as salmon) and increases culvert and weir resilience to increased flooding events due to the impacts of climate change on weather and precipitation.
In addition to improving anadromous fish passage, this program will also help make culverts and weirs more resilient to increased flooding events due to the impacts of climate change on weather and precipitation.
More information on the Culvert AOP Program is available on the FHWA web site.
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