California State Parks announced last week that Watsonville was one of 26 local projects that will receive grants totaling $4.1 million from the California Habitat Conservation Fund (HCF) Grant Program. The Watsonville project will restore one acre of native habitat and enhance wetlands along Struve Slough between Main Street and Pennsylvania Drive and the work will be directed by Watsonville Wetlands Watch. The project includes removal of non-native plants, re-establishment of native habitat and enhancement work along the Struve Slough bicycle and pedestrian trail.
“Our community is fortunate to have Watsonville Wetland Watch leading local efforts to protect and restore the sloughs,” said Murray Fontes, Principal Engineer with the City of Watsonville. “Work on this project will be done over the next two years and Wetlands Watch will host work days where Watsonville residents can help with the restoration efforts." The overall project cost is $105,200 with $52,600 provided by the State and $52,600 provided by the City and Wetlands Watch through donations of materials and labor.
The HCF program is funded by the California Wildlife Protection Act of 1990 (Proposition 117) and provides assistance to local agencies for the protection, restoration and enhancement of wildlife habitat to maintain California’s quality of life.