The CalTrout chaired Santa Clara River Steelhead Coalition has been extended from June 2015 through May 2017; with generous funds from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP), and additional support from The Rose Foundation, Marisla Foundation, Patagonia, Southern California Edison, and Friends of the Santa Clara River.
The Coalition will pursue six planning and/or implementation projects, such as the Harvey Diversion and 12th Street Infiltration Gallery Fish Passage Restoration Projects led by CalTrout (Read more about 12th Street below), as well as the Santa Clara River Estuary Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Feasibility Study (FRGP 2013); and, IRWM Prop 84 Arundo donax removal and riparian habitat restoration project (read more on that project here), led by Coalition members the Wishtoyo Foundation and University of California Santa Barbara Riparian Invasion Research Laboratory respectively.
A key recovery strategy has been and will continue to be outreach, education and community engagement. Further objectives of the renewal are to grow and strengthen the existing Coalition of partners. This will be done through a minimum of eight outreach events, from large-scale participation events to a hosted Water Talks Program; expanding on the Mount Shasta model, and sharing our lessons and projects at scientific conferences.
The Coalition is also pleased to announce it has secured its third California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program project to fund the 12th Street Infiltration Gallery Fish Passage Restoration Project
This project is located on the main-stem of the Santa Clara River – a “salmonid stronghold” that historically supported a steelhead run of 9,000 adults. CalTrout is working with a private diversion operator to replace a gigantic earthen diversion/sand berm; which irrigates local citrus orchards, with an infiltration gallery (essentially an enormous French drain comprised of a matrix of perforated pipes). The project is truly a “win-win” for environmental and agricultural stakeholders as it will restore fish passage, ensure reliable water infrastructure in this drought era, and reduce the landowner’s recurrent operational and maintenance costs to rebuild the diversion every year.