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SPAWN Wins Two State Grants to Help Marin Homeowners Restore Streamside Property

SPAWN places numerous fallen trees, logs, and rootballs in San Geronimo Creek to restore critical habitat for salmon and protect streambanks against erosion that is threatening homes.

For Immediate Release: February 5, 2019

OLEMA—The Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN) recently won a pair of state grants to help restore streamside habitat in Marin County from erosion, that in turn will restore critical habitat for endangered Coho salmon and other wildlife.  

“Protecting private property in Marin County and saving endangered salmon can be mutually beneficial,” said Preston Brown, Watershed Conservation Director of SPAWN. “We’re excited to have support in demonstrating how landowners can participate in endangered species recovery.”

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Restoration Grant Program awarded $377,500 to restore 500 feet of San Geronimo Creek across four private properties. SPAWN was the only organization in Marin County in 2019 to receive a grant from the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program, and will place numerous fallen trees, logs, and rootballs in San Geronimo creek to restore critical habitat for salmon and protect streambanks against erosion that is threatening homes.

“This project has so many benefits, both for the endangered Coho salmon and Valley landowners,” said Brown. “Large woody debris is often seen as a liability or a hazard, but wood plays a critical role in helping the stream remain stable, providing habitat, holding grade and preventing incision.”

The project is also partnering with Lagunitas School District to restore 3,000 square feet of riparian habitat at the Lagunitas School, removing a dilapidated storage shed and sandbox from the banks of Larsen Creek, and planting hundreds of native plants and trees with the assistance of students and volunteers.

“We’re excited to work with the students and have them directly contribute to protecting habitats right on their campus,” said Brown. “Sand is the type of sediment that smothers salmon eggs, and this project will eliminate that fine sediment source.”

A second grant from the Wildlife Conservation Board for $125,400 will improve the habitat and water quality conditions on a private cattle ranch in northwestern Marin County. Located upstream of Nicasio Reservoir, this project will provide habitat for nesting birds, mammals, and other wildlife while improving drinking water supplies for Marin residents by reducing erosion of sediments into the downstream reservoir that create problems for water treatment and sanitation.

Turtle Island Restoration Network is a leading ocean and marine wildlife conservation non-profit. Its program, the Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN), protects endangered, wild Coho salmon and the forests and watersheds they need to survive in West Marin County, California. Learn more at www.seaturtles.org/salmon.


Contact: Preston Brown, Watershed Conservation Director, (303) 877-0880, preston@seaturtles.org