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$1.3 Million Granted for Conservation in Pescadero, San Gregorio and Moss Beach

Funds will go towards alleviating impacts on endangered species habitat and reduce pollution entering the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.

The (RCD) recently accepted $1.3 million in funding for conservation projects in Pescadero, San Gregorio and Moss Beach's Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.

The funding is comprised of three separate awards: $245,550 from the California Department of Fish and Game to restore endangered fish habitat in the San Gregorio Watershed; $575,000 from CalTrans to work with the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) to enhance the habitat of endangered species at the Cloverdale Coastal Ranches in Pescadero; and $500,000 from San Mateo County for a project that seeks to reduce pollution entering the James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve through landowner-initiated actions such as managing stormwater runoff and controlling erosion and sediment runoff.

"We are thrilled that funding has become available to assist landowners with critical resource protection in our region," RCD director Kellyx Nelson said in a press release. "Like everyone else, we have felt the pinch of the economy these last few years.  We are hopeful that this is an indication of better times just around the corner.”

to be targeted in the San Gregorio Watershed Enhancement Program include the coho salmon, , and tidewater goby. In 2010, the National Marine Fisheries Service identified the watershed as a federal conservation priority, while the Draft Recovery Plan for the Central California Coast Coho Salmon named the watershed as a focus for recovery of the species.

RCD is partnering with local landowners, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, American Rivers, the San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center, and others to implement the project.

The $575,000 in funding from CalTrans was granted as a way to mitigate impacts to endangered species habitat of the San Francisco Garter Snake and California red-legged frog due to a seismic retrofitting project on a section of Highway 101.  Nine ponds are to be repaired at the 5,777-acre Cloverdale Coastal Ranches property in Pescadero, which will benefit the San Francisco Garter Snake, the California red-legged frog, and other wildlife that live in the ponds.

Monies for the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve pollution reduction project come from a portion of water quality funds granted to the county from State Proposition 84. The funds are given to areas that are designated by the state to be in need of water quality protection for marine life.

The funding was accepted last week at the RCD's regular board meeting in Half Moon Bay.

For a list of endangered species in the Half Moon Bay Coastside area, click .

Tiffany Montano June 26, 2011 at 04:45 AM
Won't the Garter Snakes eat the Red Legged Frogs? I bet they taste like chicken. Tiffany Montano - A RECOVERING ENVIRONMENTALIST
Kellyx Nelson August 24, 2011 at 05:13 AM
Indeed, Tiffany, they do. :) Restoring habitat for the frog is considered beneficial for the snake for exactly that reason. The snake is more at risk of extinction and therefore fully protected by the State.
Brian Ginna August 25, 2011 at 02:01 AM
Is the snake protected by the snake under Federal or State law?
Brian Ginna August 25, 2011 at 02:02 AM
"by the State..."
Kristine Wong August 25, 2011 at 02:53 AM
The San Francisco Garter Snake is protected under state law as it's on the California Endangered Species List. Whether it's also protected under federal law is a bit more murky - it's listed at the US Fish and Wildlife Service as being endangered "wherever found," but I'm not clear as whether this means it's on the federal list or not.
Kellyx Nelson September 03, 2011 at 12:00 AM
The snake is on both lists (it's only found in this region) but is fully protected only under the state law, meaning that the state cannot issue a permit for "incidental take" in the process of restoring habitat.
Kristine Wong September 06, 2011 at 06:10 AM
Thanks for clarifying that!

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