Sierra Fund awarded $5.5M for water quality projects |
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Sierra Fund awarded $5.5M for water quality projects

The Sierra Fund has received a grant of $5.5 million from the California Department of Water Resources for water quality and supply projects proposed as part of the Cosumnes, American, Bear, Yuba (CABY) Integrated Regional Water Management.

The successful proposal, CABY Headwaters Resilience and Adaptability Program, was submitted last winter as part of the department's Proposition 84 Round 2 Implementation Grant Solicitation.

This grant, collaboratively assembled by more than a dozen agencies and organizations that began working together in 2007 to integrate their regional water plans in CABY region, includes funding for seven groups of projects.

The Sierra Fund served as lead applicant for assembling the grant proposal and will manage the flow of funds to the projects over the next three years.

"This is a great example of The Sierra Fund's work to increase and organize investment in our region's natural resources and communities," said CEO Elizabeth Martin.

"This funding covers a broad range of projects, from new infrastructure that will increase reliability of water delivery and fire safety, to projects that will restore meadows, to projects that will help address our region's legacy of abandoned mines."

In early 2013, The Sierra Fund stepped in to provide the capacity needed for organizations and agencies in the CABY Integrated Regional Water Management group to submit a proposal seeking funding for projects to the grant program. While a recommendation for funding came in late 2013, the final grant award was announced only last week.

The grant includes funding for the following projects:

— Camptonville Water System Improvement Project, led by the Camptonville Community Services District

— City of Placerville Waterline Replacement, led by the City of Placerville

— Water Efficiency, Water Quality and Supply Reliability, jointly led by the Nevada Irrigation District and Placer County Water Agency

— Wolf Creek Watershed Restoration, Stormwater Source Control and Flood Management, led by nonprofit American Rivers

— Renewable Energy with Micro and Small Hydro: El Dorado County Small Hydroelectric Development Program, led by the El Dorado Irrigation District

— CABY Mercury and Sediment Abatement Initiative, a suite of seven projects coordinated by The Sierra Fund, which includes:

— Relief Hill Hydraulic Mine Remediation, led by Tahoe National Forest

— Malakoff Diggins Feasibility Study, led by The Sierra Fund

— Omega Diggins and Scotchman Creek Hydraulic Mine Assessment, led by the South Yuba River Citizens League

— Spring and Shady Creek Mining Impacts Assessment, led by the Yuba Watershed Institute

— Combie Reservoir Mercury Treatment Facility, led by the Nevada Irrigation District

— Mercury Contaminated Fish: Data Collection and Public Education, led by The Sierra Fund

— CABY Mercury Forum, coordinated by The Sierra Fund

— Meadow Restoration, Assessment and Prioritization in the American, Bear and Yuba Watersheds, led by the South Yuba River Citizens League, which includes projects on seven meadows in the region

"Not only was the region's proposal awarded full funding, but it demonstrated how The Sierra Fund can leverage effective partnerships and a small amount of cash for enormous gain for the region," said Martin.