California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Final Funding Decisions

2010/2011 CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program Proposal Solicitation Package

The Director of DFG has determined the final projects to be funded through the 2010/2011 CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) proposal solicitation. These final decisions are listed below.

Prior to the Director's decision, the CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) Selection Panel met and made recommendations on the proposals that were submitted to the 2010/2011 Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP). This PSP focused on the following priorities:

  1. Restoration projects that restore or enhance aquatic habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh and Bay.
  2. Research that tests hypotheses identified in the Delta Regional Ecosystem Restoration Implementation Plan (DRERIP) evaluation of the BDCP conservation measures and National Research Council Operations Criteria and Plan (OCAP) Biological Opinion (BO) review and address uncertainties.
  3. Projects that (a) construct facilities to control waste discharges that contribute to low dissolved oxygen and other water quality problems in the lower San Joaquin River and south Delta or (b) construct facilities to control drainage from abandoned mines that adversely affect water quality in the Bay-Delta.

Each proposal was also reviewed by technical experts not associated with the ERP prior to the Selection Panel meeting and the technical reviews were considered by the Panel during their discussions.

Note: Projects that have been given the "fund" recommendation may need small revisions to the scope of work; projects that have been given the " reconsider if revised" recommendation need to make significant changes to the scope of work. In both cases, applicants should consult with Department of Fish and Game grant managers while making revisions. Finally, those projects given the "do not fund" recommendation will not be considered any further.

Proposals and Recommendations

Proposal ID: 001

Applicant: Larry Brown, USGS

Title: Development of a Spatially Explicit Ecosystem Model to Explore Physicochemical Drivers of Step Changes in POD Species and Distribution in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Bay

Amount Requested: $356,483

Description: The purpose of this proposed work is to improve a dynamic food web model of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Bay to move from using it as a hypothesis-exploration tool towards using it as a decision-support tool for resources management. The major objective is to develop a spatial ecosystem model that can be used to explore physicochemical factors that may have driven spatial shifts in habitat and resultant shifts in abundance for key Delta species, specifically the Pelagic Organism Decline (POD) fishes. The model will allow explicit modeling of habitat impacts on the food web and species abundance and distribution. The proposed work will seek to simultaneously examine the effects of multiple potential drivers on one or more POD fishes and place these patterns in the larger context of estuarine degradation. The work also plans to improve the ability of the model to account for uncertainty in parameter estimates through Monte Carlo simulations to allow managers to better understand the levels of risk associated with different management scenarios.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $356,483

Final Decision: Fund, $356,483

Proposal ID: 002

Applicant: Nann Fangue, UC Davis

Title: Ecological Performance of Fishes in an Ever-changing Estuary: The Effects of Nutritional Status on Environmental Stress Tolerance in Sturgeon

Amount Requested: $446,690

Description: This laboratory study of the physiological responses of fingerling to one- year old green and white sturgeon to stresses of changing salinity and temperature under various nutritional regimens is designed to mimic scenarios that may occur in the wild with climate change and global warming.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $446,690

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 003

Applicant: Peter Klimley, UC Davis

Title: Survival and Migratory Patterns of Juvenile Spring and Fall Run Chinook Salmon in Sacramento River and Delta

Amount Requested: $1,746,955

Description: This project aims to evaluate the effect of natural and anthropogenic changes in flow and related water project operations on the survival and movement patterns of juvenile spring and fall-run Chinook salmon within the Sacramento River and Delta.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $1,746,955

Final Decision: Fund, $1,746,955

Proposal ID: 004

Applicant: Stephanie Carlson, UC Berkeley

Title: Managing Natural Resources for Adaptive Capacity: the Central Valley Chinook Salmon Portfolio

Amount Requested: $489,343

Description: This proposal will explore “portfolio effect” (PE) in Central Valley fall-run Chinook (CVC) wherein the variability of the population complex is less than that of individual populations, by examining tradeoffs between multiple anthropogenic activities, including flow modification, hatcheries, and fisheries, investigating 1) the role of phenotypic diversity in contributing to PE, 2) effects of anthropogenic activities on PE, and 3) incorporating PE into management.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $489,343

Final Decision: Fund, $489,343

Proposal ID: 005

Applicant: Jeff McCreary, Ducks Unlimited

Title: Lower Cosumnes River Floodplain Restoration Project

Amount Requested: $1,244,991

Description: The proposed project to restore 154-acre parcel of riparian oak woodland floodplain by reconnecting it to tidal channels is a collaborative effort between Ducks Unlimited, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Anadromous Fisheries Restoration Program, Sacramento County, and the Fishery Foundation of California. A controlled limited hunt is proposed on the project site.

Panel Recommendation: Reconsider if Revised

Final Decision: Reconsider if Revised

Proposal ID: 006

Applicant: James Hobbs, UC Davis

Title: The Role of Life History Variability on the Population of Delta Smelt and Longfin Smelt

Amount Requested: $303,747

Description: This proposal revisits some of the otoliths previously examined and includes others from various collecting efforts to compare the degree to which different ‘contingents’ are found within the delta smelt population – specifically those that move rapidly down to low salinity water versus those that stay in the freshwater of the Delta for up to three times as long.  By comparing the environmental conditions associated with the capture of fish in different years, the Principal Investigator hopes to identify conditions controlling their distribution, and thereby largely, their fate.

Panel Recommendation: Do Not Fund

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 007

Applicant: James Hobbs, UC Davis

Title: What are the Optimal Environmental Conditions for Longfin Smelt Reproduction?

Amount Requested: $604,962

Description: The proposed project is a 3-year study to develop aquaculture techniques for the threatened longfin smelt and examine the effects of salinity and temperature on development, survival, growth and condition of longfin smelt in culture.

Panel Recommendation: Do Not Fund

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 008

Applicant: Leo Winternitz, Reclamation District 2110

Title: McCormack-Williamson Tract Flood Control and Ecosystem Restoration Project

Amount Requested: $3,314,300

Description: McCormack-Williamson Tract is a 1,654-acre “island” farm located in the north Delta downstream of the confluence of the Cosumnes and Mokelumne Rivers. The Project will implement flood control improvements in a manner that benefits aquatic and terrestrial habitats, species, and ecological processes. McCormack-Williamson plays a key role in north Delta hydraulics. The project is intended to improve passage of flood flows through the tract, in a way that minimizes flood impacts to the system up and downstream. Because the tract’s topography varies from roughly plus five feet above sea-level to minus four feet, the Tract provides an ideal landscape gradient for a continuum of habitat types that provides for ecosystem benefits. This proposal solicitation package would be used to cover the 7% of the 35% local match for project design and construction and post project assessment not being provided by DWR. These funds are non-federal match for US Army Corps of Engineers funds for a projected combined total of $21,702,200 to complete this project.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $3,314,300

Final Decision: Fund, $3,314,300

Proposal ID: 009

Applicant: Kenneth Coale, San Jose State University Research Foundation

Title: Impact of BDCP-Created Tidal Wetlands on Increased Fish Mercury Levels in the Delta

Amount Requested: $600,000

Description: This project has an important goal of assessing the impact of created wetlands on methylmercury production and subsequent export of methylmercury to the Delta and its fish.

Panel Recommendation: Do Not Fund

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 010

Applicant: Sharon Paquin-Gilmore, Battle Creek Watershed Conservancy

Title: Battle Creek Stream Condition Monitoring for Adaptive Management

Amount Requested: $445,225

Description: Project proponents hope to continue status and trends monitoring using protocols from previous studies conducted in 2001-2002. Three years of monitoring would be conducted and compared to earlier work.

Panel Recommendation: Do Not Fund

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 011

Applicant: Alison Whipple, Aquatic Science Center

Title: Management Tools for Landscape-Scale Restoration of Ecological Functions in the Delta

Amount Requested: $875,000

Description: This proposal seeks to develop a landscape-scale conceptual model of the historical Delta to identify landscape features remaining today with the idea that knowing how this earlier landscape supported various ecological functions will provide important information to achieve a better functioning Delta today.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $875,000

Final Decision: Fund, $875,000

Proposal ID: 012

Applicant: Kenneth Coale, San Jose State University Research Foundation

Title: Minimizing impact of mercury from BDCP restoration activities

Amount Requested: $300,000

Description: The proposed project would identify areas of high total mercury in sediment within the Yolo Bypass and evaluate them in relation to enhancement actions proposed by BDCP. Based on that assessment, engineering solutions to minimize methylation would be proposed.

Panel Recommendation: Do Not Fund

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 013

Applicant: Mary Mitchell, Western Shasta Resource Conservation District

Title: Lower Clear Creek Aquatic Habitat and Waste Discharge Improvement Project

Amount Requested: $2,759,566

Description: The objectives of the Lower Clear Creek Aquatic Habitat and Waste Discharge Improvement Project are to remove the long-term impacts of mercury contamination in the project area, while creating a cost-effective 20-year supply of spawning gravel from dredger tailings for use in Lower Clear Creek to enhance listed salmon/steelhead species populations, and to create 5.72 acres of new wetlands.

Panel Recommendation: Reconsider if Revised

Final Decision: Reconsider if Revised

Proposal ID: 014

Applicant: Lisamarie Windham-Meyers, USGS

Title: Wetland and Rice Management to Limit Methylmercury Production and Export

Amount Requested: $197,416

Description: The proposed project will undertake measurements of labile carbon, as well as a suite of measurements of factors that are likely to affect mercury methylation activities, including the quality of organic carbon, total mercury, pH, etc. Porewater methylmercury will be measured to give site specific (within each type of pilot manipulation) information on the effects of the treatments. This project would build upon an existing grant that tests whether changes in rice harvesting methods, or control of water levels in wetlands, will lower the rates of microbial methyl mercury production (from inorganic mercury).

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $197,416

Final Decision: Fund, $197,416

Proposal ID: 015

Applicant: Katharyn Boyer, California State University, San Francisco

Title: Salinity effects on native and introduced SAV of Suisun Bay and the Delta

Amount Requested: $412,410

Description: The purpose of this project is to evaluate the role of increased salinity on native versus introduced submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) beds in an effort to predict how native Stuckenia pectinata beds might contribute to restoration of native communities and functions in the Delta region. Stuckenia pectinata occurs mainly in the western Delta and Suisun Bay. The proposed project is a companion to recently funded projects (NOAA and Delta Science) mapping Stuckenia distribution and characterizing Stuckenia beds as habitat for epifaunal invertebrates and fish.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $412,410

Final Decision: Fund, $412,410

Proposal ID: 016

Applicant: Fraser Shilling, UC Davis

Title: Delta Online Water Quality Index

Amount Requested: $455,240

Description: Using a stakeholder process, the applicant proposed to develop an online water quality index for the Delta.

Panel Recommendation: Not reviewed, unresponsive proposal.

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 017

Applicant: Ted Sommer, Department of Water Resources

Title: Evaluation of Floodplain Rearing and Migration in the Yolo Bypass

Amount Requested: $878,020

Description: This project would directly address restoration actions currently being considered to improve passage for upstream-migrating fish such as salmon and sturgeon and by using telemetry to document specific areas in the Bypass that present passage barriers to adult Chinook salmon and sturgeon under different hydrological conditions. It also would collect information on juvenile salmon residence time and survival in the Bypass, again using telemetry.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $878,020

Final Decision: Fund, $878,020

Proposal ID: 018

Applicant: Stella McMillan, Department of Fish & Game

Title: Fungicides in Water and Sediment in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Amount Requested: $488,050

Description: This project is designed to determine whether water and sediment in areas receiving agricultural inputs in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta contained fungicides and to determine whether any occurring fungicides are toxic to aquatic and sediment invertebrates.

Panel Recommendation: Not reviewed, unresponsive proposal.

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 019

Applicant: Tim Crough, Nevada Irrigation District

Title: Combie Reservoir Sediment and Mercury Removal Project

Amount Requested: $4,786,430

Description: The proposed project combines innovative mercury removal equipment (remediation technology) with reservoir maintenance dredging to remove mercury from dredged sediments in Combie Reservoir.

Panel Recommendation: Do Not Fund

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 020

Applicant: Robin Kulakow and Ann Brice, Yolo Basin Foundation

Title: Lower Putah Creek Restoration from Toe Drain to Monticello Dam: Project Description Development, CEQA Compliance, Permits, Selected Final Design

Amount Requested: $2,160,375

Description: This grant proposal is to fund the preparation of a project description, CEQA documents, and permits to a describe where the Yolo Basin Wildlife Area Lower Putah Creek Realignment and Tidal Marsh Restoration Project would be eligible for funding by the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

Panel Recommendation: Reconsider if Revised

Final Decision: Reconsider if Revised

Proposal ID: 021

Applicant: Peter Moyle, UC Davis

Title: If we build it, will they come?: Identifying habitat characteristics that support native fish in the Delta and Suisun Marsh

Amount Requested: $1,152,195

Description: The purpose of this research is to develop a better understanding of how physical habitat, flow, and other factors interact to maintain assemblages of native and non-native species in an environmental gradient that supports populations of most of the native fishes in the upper estuary. By documenting how native and alien fishes use habitat around Suisun Marsh, Sherman Island, and the Cache Slough complex, insights can be gained and hypotheses tested that will aid the recovery of at-risk native species, inform flow and habitat management decisions, and allow for better adaptation to climate change.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $1,152,195

Final Decision: Fund, $1,152,195

Proposal ID: 022

Applicant: Bernie May, UC Davis

Title: Linking habitat and spatial variability to native fish predation

Amount Requested: $730,307

Description: This proposal would use genetic assays to identify the presence of Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, Delta and longfin smelt, white and green sturgeon, and Sacramento splittail in the stomachs of predatory fishes (striped bass and largemouth bass) as well as the native piscivore, Sacramento pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus grandis), across migration corridors and habitats of the north Delta. Subsidiary studies of evacuation rates will contribute to estimating predation rates. Results are to be combined with bioenergetic models to investigate population impacts.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $730,307

Final Decision: Fund, $730,307

Proposal ID: 023

Applicant: Richard Connon, UC Davis

Title: A Systems Biology Assessment of EDCs in the Delta

Amount Requested: $486,411

Description: The project will assess the genomic and proteomic responses of Menidia beryllina as a surrogate for Delta smelt after exposure to pyrethroid pesticides (represented by bifenthrin) and pharmaceuticals (represented by ibuprofen) and effluent from three wastewater treatment plants in the Suisun Bay area. In addition, estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activity will be assessed in these five sample types. Reproductive behavior will be assessed after exposure to bifenthrin and ibuprofen. The proposal goals are to develop monitoring tools that can be applied to assess site-specific reproductive fitness of wild populations in the Bay-Delta System.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $486,411

Final Decision: Fund, $486,411

Proposal ID: 024

Applicant: Richard Connon, UC Davis

Title: Assessing Contaminant and Pathogen Susceptibility in Steelhead Trout

Amount Requested: $649,340

Description: The focus of the proposed three-year research project is to perform a physiological assessment of the effect of naturally occurring pathogens and contaminants on steelhead trout, which will be conducted throughout life-cycle assessments.

Panel Recommendation: Do Not Fund

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 025

Applicant: Swee Teh, UC Davis

Title: Health of Threatened Fish: Role of Contaminants, Disease, and Nutrition

Amount Requested: $953,448

Description: This is a two-year study to determine the biological effects of contaminants, pathogens/diseases, and nutritional status in three pelagic fishes (striped bass, threadfin shad, and Sacramento splittail) and the sedentary tule perch to determine the site specificity of biological effects in the three species with migratory behavior.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $953,448

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 026

Applicant: Swee Teh, UC Davis

Title: Water Quality Monitoring in the Cache Slough Complex

Amount Requested: $1,495,004

Description: The project is to assess the role of water borne chemical contaminants in the observed decline of pelagic species in the Cache Slough area, an important nursery area for the pelagic species, where toxicity has been found in a previous study. The project will include (1) field and laboratory bioassays of water column toxicity to phytoplankton, zooplankton, amphipods, and native fish, (2) chemical analysis of toxic samples, (3) in cases where there is a lack of published effect concentration data, conduct effect concentration testing to examine the sensitivity of test organisms to detected contaminants, (4) bioassessment of benthic macroinvertebrates colonizing artificial substrates, and (5) investigation of biomarkers characteristic of exposure to water from various sampling locations, water quality conditions and toxic events. Six sites in the Cache Slough area will be monitored from Feb 2012 to Jan 2014.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $1,495,004

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 027

Applicant: Swee Teh, UC Davis

Title: DNA Barcoding and Quantitative PCR for Zooplankton Assessment

Amount Requested: $868,417

Description: This proposed project lists four goals that fall into two main categories: 1) Develop new molecular tools, DNA barcoding and qPCR assays, for measuring zooplankton composition and abundance (or biomass), respectively; and 2) Use the newly developed tools to analyze zooplankton composition and abundance in the gut contents of larval delta smelt and threadfin shad and compare the gut contents to ambient zooplankton at the fish sampling sites.

Panel Recommendation: Do Not Fund

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 028

Applicant: Bob Schneider, Tuleyome, Inc.

Title: Corona and Twin Peaks Mine Drainage Treatment Project

Amount Requested: $1,422,469

Description: This project proposes to clean up drainage from three mine sites on private property using semi-passive techniques, serving as a model for successfully cleaning up abandoned mines for public benefit. The current owner would donate the property to the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District (and the District would accept it if legal liability issues could be resolved, i.e, the county would not be liable as long as they demonstrated that they were making reasonable attempts to reduce the site and discharge contamination risks). This project proposes to document the effectiveness of semi-passive biogeochemical treatment technology to remediate the impacts of discharge from remote inactive legacy mercury mine sites. The project area is in the James Creek subwatershed, tributary to Pope Creek, a major tributary to Lake Berryessa. Discharges from Lake Berryessa pass through Putah Creek to the Yolo Bypass in the northern Delta. Approximately 40 more abandoned mines exist in this region (known as the East Mayacmas Mining District) lie within the Putah Creek Watershed. Cache Creek is estimated to contribute almost half of the mercury load to the Delta from the Sacramento River watershed.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $1,422,469

Final Decision: Fund, $1,422,469

Proposal ID: 029

Applicant: Andy Gordus, Department of Fish & Game

Title: Mercury Water Analysis at a State Wildlife Area in the Grassland Region

Amount Requested: $307,069

Description: Our first objective is to determine if mercury is present in our source water to the wildlife area. Our second objective is determine if mercury is being methylated within our pond system no matter where the mercury source is coming from and our third objective is to determine if mercury is being discharged from State owned managed wetland wildlife areas. Should it be determined that mercury is present in our source water, we plan to eventually identify the mercury source to the wildlife area and Grassland Region in general. A final objective is to prevent mercury from entering and passing through the wildlife areas and to prevent mercury flowing further down the San Joaquin River watershed that could have passed through our lands.

Panel Recommendation: Not reviewed, unresponsive proposal.

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 030

Applicant: Zac Jackson, USFWS

Title: Using Fin Ray Geochemistry to Assess White Sturgeon Life History Movements: Establishing reach specific markers in Sacramento-San Joaquin River Fish

Amount Requested: $268,258

Description: This proposal examines isotope ratios and annuli in fin rays of sturgeon captured in the wild and from fish reared in cages in different parts of the freshwater environment. From these data the project team hopes to determine where the fish were spawned, the hydrological conditions that led to spawning, and the survival and the times the fish spent in different parts of the watershed and estuary.

Panel Recommendation: Fund, $268,258

Final Decision: Do Not Fund

Proposal ID: 031

Applicant: Carol Kendall, USGS

Title: Quantitative Assessment of Delta Habitat and Food Web Parameters Using Isotopes and Numerical Models

Amount Requested: $287,900

Description: The main objectives of this proposal are the refinement and use of numerical modeling and visualization tool to aid in the interpretation and synthesis of this water quality and isotope data, and the use of model scenarios to better understand the impact of management actions on the ecosystem in the study area. Generally, the project aims to address how hydrodynamic conditions, water quality, water temperature, and primary and secondary production are linked within aquatic ecosystems of the Delta and its tributaries and floodplains, and how habitat variables for aquatic organisms are distributed spatially under different river inflow and water temperature scenarios.

Panel Recommendation: Do Not Fund

Final Decision: Do Not Fund