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California Watershed Forum in Sacramento, California Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman announced a plan to create a statewide watershed program. Speaking to nearly 200 Watershed Forum attendees from all corners of California, Secretary Chrisman outlined his goals for the statewide program to develop partnerships to support community-based watershed stewardship. The Resources Agency program will be housed in the Department of Conservation under Director Bridgett Luther.

Following Secretary Chrisman, Director Luther offered an enthusiastic welcome to the watershed community and embraced the myriad of attending participants with her interest in building a successful program. Director Luther noted the importance to maintain the continuity established with the CALFED Watershed Program and Subcommittee. In doing so, CALFED Watershed Program Manager, John Lowrie, will be transferring to the Department of Conservation along with his team of Dan Wermiel, Casey Walsh-Cady, and Dennis Bowker. CALFED Watershed subcommittee co-chairs, Martha Davis and Robert Meacher, will serve as the co-chairs of a new Steering Committee that will help with an extensive public process by serving as liaisons between regional watershed communities and the Statewide Watershed Program.

Stay tuned for more information about the Statewide Watershed Program over the coming months!

Watershed Funding Opportunities

319 Grants
The State Water Resources Control Board is now accepting applications for the Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant Program (CWA Section 319) to support projects throughout California to restore impaired surface waters through the control of nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. The purpose of this NPS Grant Program is to provide funds to projects that restore and protect the beneficial uses of water throughout the State through the control of NPS pollution consistent with Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). Approximately $5.65M is available for this solicitation with a minimum grant amount of $250,000 and a maximum of $1M per project. Concept proposals are due 11/1/07. View the complete Solicitation for more information.

NOAA Open Rivers Initiative
The NOAA Open Rivers Initiative provides funding and technical expertise for community-driven, small dam and river barrier removals, primarily in coastal states. Projects are expected to provide an economic boost for communities, enhance public safety, and improve populations of NOAA trust resources such as striped bass, Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon, Atlantic and Pacific salmon, American eel, American shad, blueback herring, and alewife. Funding of up to $6M is expected to be available in FY 2008. Applications are due 10/3/107. For more information, visit NOAA website.