Joanna Nasar
Communications Manager
Turtle Island Restoration Network
(415) 663-8590 ext. 103

Olema, Calif. (April 10, 2014) – The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP) has announced 2014 funding totaling $525,307 for four projects all located in West Marin’s critical Lagunitas Watershed. The three organizations who received FRGP grant awards include: Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) program (which was awarded two grants), Trout Unlimited and the Marin County Department of Public Works.

“Restoration of coho salmon habitat in the Lagunitas Creek watershed is critical to the recovery of the species in the Central California Coast region. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) received these four significant project proposals that met the FRGP focus and State and Federal coho salmon recovery recommendations,” said Gail Seymour, Senior Environmental Scientist, Supervisor. “All four proposals received high enough scores from FRGP’s multi-tiered review process and made the cut in this highly competitive grant program. CDFW is encouraged to continue working with these organizations in the Lagunitas Creek watershed toward our common goal to recover our native salmonid species.”

Two grants were awarded to SPAWN. One will focus on designing an improved fish migration passage at Roy’s Pools and involve working closely with the landowners of the San Geronimo Golf Course.

“We are excited to continue working with the San Geronimo Golf Course, which is one of the largest private landowners in San Geronimo Valley, to make Roy’s Pools as fish-friendly as possible,” said Todd Steiner, biologist and executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network’s SPAWN program. “The genesis for SPAWN was a result of my initial discovery 15 years ago that coho salmon were unable to get over Roy’s Dam, so today it is gratifying to be working once again to continue to improve this key fish passage issue.”

The second project will involve working with Point Reyes National Seashore to develop a restoration and enhancement plan for a mile-long stretch of stream just west of Samuel P. Taylor State Park, formerly known as Jewel and Tocaloma. The Lagunitas Creek Floodplain and Riparian Enhancement objective grant, awarded to SPAWN, focuses on returning land parcels that stretch from the creek edge to Sir Francis Drake Blvd. to native habitat, and on restoring creek hydrologic function to improve floodplains and fish habitat. This project is important as development of floodplains upstream is considered to be a major ‘limiting factor’ to recovery of salmon.

“Right now, this mile-long stretch is a mess of abandoned houses, garages, retaining walls, driveways and a plethora of non-native plants located in the creek’s floodplain. We are elated to get the opportunity to improve this habitat for the benefit of endangered coho salmon and the American people, who are the owners of our National Park Service lands,” said Steiner. “By improving floodplain habitat, baby salmon will have a refuge and be able to survive high water during rainstorms.”

Another funded project is the Devils Gulch In-Stream Large Woody Debris Project, proposed by Trout Unlimited, North Bay Chapter, which has a long history of work in the Devil’s Gulch and Lagunitas Creek Watershed. The objective of this project is to increase the survival of juvenile coho salmon through the installation of large woody debris structures, which increase pool frequency and depth, enhance summer rearing habitat and provide flow refuge during the winter and spring.

The Marin County Public Works project will further develop plans and engineering for five habitat enhancement projects that aim to restore habitat complexity and riparian function, protect water quality, restore a fish passage and provide a safe place for young fish to hide out during high flows in San Geronimo Creek.

A list of all funded proposals in California can be found at:

Download a printer friendly version of the press release here(.pdf).


Turtle Island Restoration Network works to mobilize people and communities around the world to protect marine wildlife, the oceans and the inland waterways that sustain them. The Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) is a project of Turtle Island that works to protect endangered salmon and their habitat in the Lagunitas Watershed.