News Release

Posted on: March 18, 2016

MMWD Secures Grant Funding to Continue Fish Habitat Improvement and Life Cycle Monitoring

Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) has secured over $830k in funding by way of two grants from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fisheries Restoration Grants Program. The two funded projects will continue improving fish habitat and monitoring the population status in Lagunitas Creek and other coastal streams in the region. The projects will focus on increasing winter habitat carrying capacity and life-cycle monitoring for coho salmon and steelhead trout, two federally-recognized endangered species.

The Lagunitas Creek Winter Habitat Enhancement Implementation – Phase II project received $724,913 to support the construction of large, engineered log structures that will improve winter habitat for coho and steelhead. The habitat enhancements will provide fish with areas to ride out storms in floodplains and backwater habitat where the water flow is not as fast as in other parts of the stream. These habitats will give juvenile fish areas to feed and grow, as well as seek cover from predators. The goal of these habitat enhancements is to help recover fish populations by enabling more juveniles to survive the winter. Adolescent fish are then able to migrate out to Tomales Bay, eventually reaching the ocean and their adult stage.

The Lagunitas Creek Coastal Monitoring Plan Salmon Lifecycle Monitoring – Phase II project received $105,913 to support monitoring of coho salmon in the Lagunitas Creek watershed. This project will also evaluate populations in the five streams that support coho and steelhead between the Russian River and Golden Gate including Salmon, Walker, Lagunitas, Pine Gulch, and Redwood creeks.

The results from the life-cycle monitoring are crucial to recovery efforts throughout the Central California Coast Coho Evolutionarily Significant Unit and elsewhere in coastal California. Surveys for coho salmon have been conducted in Lagunitas Creek since the 1970s. In recent years, MMWD’s monitoring efforts have been conducted in collaboration with the National Park Service and Salmon Protection and Watershed Network. These monitoring efforts allow for improved evaluation of the trends in coho abundance and survival.

MMWD is Marin County’s largest provider of drinking water, serving a population of 187,500 in a 147-square-mile area of south and central Marin County. The district owns and manages 21,635 acres of watershed land on Mt. Tamalpais and in west Marin. The primary source of water supply is rainfall captured in seven reservoirs, providing 75 percent of the water consumed each year. The remaining 25 percent is imported annually from the Russian River through an agreement with the Sonoma County Water Agency. MMWD also operates its own recycled water system. District operations are financed primarily by revenue from the sale of water. The annual operating budget for the district for fiscal year 2015-16 is $66.8 million.

Media Contact: Emma Detwiler
Phone: (415) 945-1592

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