Rep. Huffman applauds funding of $60.3 million for projects in Northern California to strengthen Climate-Ready Coasts

April 21, 2023

Washington, D.C. – 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 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 Rep. Huffman. “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.” 

“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.” 

“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.” 

The projects funded in California’s Second Congressional District include:  


Prairie Creek Floodplain Restoration Project Phase 4 

Recipient: California State Coastal Conservancy 

Recommended Federal Funding*: $7M 

Summary: The California State Coastal Conservancy will be awarded $7M to complete the final downstream phase of work in Prairie Creek, a priority stream in Humboldt County. The project will restore much-needed floodplain rearing habitat for juvenile salmonids. Together, the downstream and upstream efforts will elevate the habitat to be a salmonid stronghold. This project builds on several years of continuous effort and magnifies the total project impact by restoring and enhancing streams, wetlands, riparian habitat, and connecting to a new channel constructed during the previous phase. This project will also identify future floodplain reconnection opportunities and develop conceptual designs for the top three. The work will support recovery of key salmon species and will provide an opportunity for the Yurok Tribe to implement restoration efforts on their ancestral lands. 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. 

Project Partners: Save the Redwoods League, National Park Service, California Department of Parks and Recreation, CalTrout, Yurok Tribe 


Lower Russian Watershed Coho Habitat Restoration Project 

Recipient: Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District 

Recommended Federal Funding*: $8.4M 

Summary: Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District will be awarded $8.4M to lead wetland and floodplain restoration at seven sites in two high-priority tributaries in the lower Russian River watershed. These efforts will significantly improve connectivity between streams and their floodplains, restore and reconnect wetlands, and remove barriers to fish migration. The work will advance recovery efforts for Endangered Species Act-listed Central California Coast coho salmon, a NOAA Species in the Spotlight, by enhancing stream connectivity, improving wetlands, and removing stream barriers. The work will also help reduce flooding in surrounding communities, which have become more frequently inundated as the region’s precipitation comes 

in larger, less predictable storm events. 

Project Partners: Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, O’Connor Environmental 

Inc., Prunuske Chatham Inc., Trout Unlimited   


Restoring Kelp Forest Habitat in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary  

Recipient: Greater Farallones Association 

Recommended Federal Funding*: $4.9M 

Summary: Greater Farallones Association will be awarded $4.9M to restore bull kelp at four locations along the northern Sonoma County coastline in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. The project will restore approximately 50 acres of kelp forest habitat by removing purple sea urchins and outplanting bull kelp. In 2014-2016, more than 90 percent of bull kelp forest habitat in northern California was lost due to repeated warm water events. Bull kelp is a foundational species in the ecosystem, and its decline has cascading effects on recreational and commercial fisheries. Restoring this habitat will directly benefit the greater ecosystem within the sanctuary and along the northern California coast. 

Project Partners: Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, Kashia Band of Pomo 

Indians, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Moss Landing Marine Lab, Bodega 

Marine Lab, Sonoma State University 


Restoring Rearing Habitat for Juvenile Coho Salmon, Smith River, California Recipient: Smith River Alliance 

Recommended Federal Funding*: $5.4M 

Summary: Smith River Alliance will be awarded $5.4M to 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. For example, an existing bridge will be relocated and replaced with a new structure that will withstand stronger storms. This will help improve the resilience of Del Norte County against future flood and wildfire risk that may become more extreme in a changing climate. 

Project Partners: California State Parks, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Del Norte County Resource Conservation District, Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, Elk Valley Rancheria 


Mendocino Coast Transformational Habitat Restoration for Coho Salmon Recovery  

Recipient: The Nature Conservancy 

Recommended Federal Funding*: $8.3M 

Summary: The Nature Conservancy will be awarded $8.3M to restore high-priority habitat on three rivers in coastal Mendocino County. The work will benefit endangered Central California Coast coho salmon (a NOAA Species in the Spotlight) and threatened California Coastal Chinook. The effort will include on-the-ground implementation at three sites, restoring floodplain and stream habitat. The project will design and implement high priority actions identified in recovery plans prioritized under collaborative processes. 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. 

Project Partners: Mendocino County Resource Conservation District 


A Tribal-Scientific Alliance to Restore Red Abalone in Northern California’s Kelp Forest Ecosystem 

Recipient: Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point 

Rancheria Recommended Federal Funding*: $1.6M 

Summary: 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. 


Red Cap Creek Floodplain Restoration Project 

Recipient: Mid Klamath Watershed Council 

Recommended Federal Funding*: $519K 

Summary: 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. 


Ackerman Creek Restoration Design Project 

Recipient: Pinoleville Pomo Nation 

Recommended Federal Funding*: $739K 

Summary: The Pinoleville Pomo Nation will develop a plan for reconnecting Ackerman Creek, a tributary of California’s Russian River, to its floodplain. 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. 


High-Impact and Large Marine Debris Removal throughout the National Marine 

Sanctuary System 

Recipient: National Marine Sanctuary Foundation 

Recommended Federal Funding*: $14,999,292 

Project Teaser/Summary: The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation 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 and include: Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Channel Islands National Park; Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary; Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, in partnership with California State Parks; and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Neah Bay, in partnership with the Makah Tribe and Quileute Tribe. 

Project Partners: California State Parks, California State University Channel Islands Santa Rosa Island Research Station, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Channel Islands National Park, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, Global Diving and Salvage, Island Packers Cruises, Makah Tribe, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Moody Gardens, The Nature Conservancy, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Quileute Tribe, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Teichman Group, Vita Art Center, commercial lobster fishers 


* At this point in the selection process, the application approval and obligation of funds is not 

final. Applications are being “recommended” for funding. This is not an authorization to start 

the project and is not a guarantee of funding.