SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 8, 2011 -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District awarded more than $4 million Aug. 1 for 12 wetland and stream conservation projects in California’s Central Valley and Sierra Nevada.

“This is the largest amount of funding we’ve awarded to-date,” Sacramento District project manager Will Ness said. “It’s significant because the projects will help us meet our goal of no net loss of wetlands.”

In 2007, the Sacramento District’s regulatory division established the Sacramento District Wetlands Conservation Fund through a memorandum of agreement with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Money generated from permitting actions and enforcement of the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbors Act is collected into the account and then used to fund projects that result in the rehabilitation, re-establishment, establishment or enhancement of aquatic resources.

In response to a request for proposals, an interagency review team consisting of representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received 36 project proposals. Projects were evaluated on several criteria including level of aquatic function increase, regional importance, cost effectiveness and educational outreach potential. Now that the review is complete and the awards have been made, NFWF will contract with awardees to get approved projects under way.

Funding was awarded to the following organizations: Pit Resource Conservation District and California Department of Fish and Game, Stillwater Plains Mitigation Bank Inc, Wildlands Inc, Placer Land Trust, Plumas Corporation, Inyo National Forest, Ducks Unlimited Inc and Bureau of Land Management, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and California Waterfowl Association.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District regulatory division requires permits for work in waters of the U.S. including wetlands in order to protect our nation’s aquatic resources while still allowing for reasonable economic development.