National Partnership Awards and one Special

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Congratulations to the New Coastal America Partnership Award Winners!
Since 1997, the Coastal America Awards Program has recognized outstanding collaborative
projects and excellence in leadership for protecting, preserving and restoring the nation’s coastal
resources. Nominations are carefully reviewed by an interagency committee and approved by
political leadership representing the White House. Selection criteria require that successful
projects include at least one federal agency partner as well as one non-federal entity, clearly
demonstrate the “value added” of the partnership effort, reflect an innovative or unique way of
accomplishing stated goals and objectives with positive environmental results, and contribute to
the accomplishment of Coastal America’s National objectives to restore and protect resources
and to increase public awareness of the coastal and marine environment. To date over 110 teams
(~2000 individuals) have been honored with this prestigious recognition at regional ceremonies.
Four Partnership Awards were approved by the Principals group.
The Musconetcong River Restoration Partnership, NJ (MRRP)
Finesville Dam before, during and after construction.
The Musconetcong River Restoration Partnership is a multi disciplinary team working to
improve and restore the Musconetcong River in northwestern New Jersey. The MRRP includes
private conservation groups, Federal agencies, State agencies, private landowners and others.
Much of the work is focused on removing dams on the Musconetcong River, which supports
Action H5.7 (Fish Passage Restoration) of the Delaware Bay Comprehensive Conservation and
Management Plan. In 2011 the MRRP removed the Riegelsville Dam remnants and the
Finesville Dam, the first two obstructions upstream of the confluence of the Musconetcong River
and the Delaware River opening 3.4 miles of migratory fish habitat. These dams are in Warren
County, New Jersey. The Musconetcong is New Jersey’s largest tributary to the Delaware and is
the longest undammed major river in the United States east of the Mississippi River. The
watershed has been the subject of significant attention with regard to restoration of fish
migration, including river herring, American eel, and striped bass.
Partners include: USDA/NRCS, USFWS, Musconetcong Watershed Association, NOAA,
American Rivers, North Jersey RC & D Council, Conservation Resources Inc., NJ Division of
Fish & Wildlife, Trout Unlimited, NJ CWRP, and DOI National Park Service, MARIT.
South San Diego Bay Restoration & Enhancement Project Team, CA
The South San Diego
Bay Restoration and
Enhancement Project
Team restored
approximately 300 acres
of estuarine habitats at
the south end of San
Diego Bay. The project
was completed as a result
of a collaboration of
people and resources
from 10 different federal,
state and local agencies,
and nonprofit organizations. The project restored a range of estuarine habitats representative of
the historical coastal habitats that occurred in south San Diego Bay prior to the late 1800s. These
include approximately 50 acres of shallow subtidal, 215 acres of intertidal, 15 acres of
wetland/upland transition, and 20 acres of native upland scrub habitats. Habitats were restored
on lands managed by the Port of San Diego or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife
Refuge, both of whom are committed to conserving the restored habitat in perpetuity. Project
activities included: (1) excavation of degraded uplands to create intertidal and subtidal habitats,
(2) dredging former salt ponds to create tidal channels and breaching the levees to restore tidal
influence and associated habitats, and (3) establishment of native plant communities. The
project provides benefits to migratory and coastal dependent birds, federal and state listed
species, fish, and the local economy.
Partners include: Port of San Diego, Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association, California
Coastal Conservancy, USFWS San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, NOAA Restoration
Center, USFWS Coastal Program, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service Coastal Program, San Diego Oceans Foundation, Ocean Discovery Institute, San Diego
Audubon Society, Coronado Rotary Club.
The Matanuska-Susitna Valley Coastal Conservation Partnership, AK
The Matanuska-Susitna Valley (Valley) partnership is
a broad-based collaborative of government agencies,
non-governmental organizations and private
landowners working to conserve coastal habitat in
South central Alaska. The Partnership’s activity is
guided by a habitat assessment of over 100,000
private land parcels in the Valley completed by the
Great Land Trust in 2010. This assessment mapped,
prioritized and ranked these parcels/habitats for their
conservation values. In 2010 the participating groups
prioritized several projects involving more than 6,000
acres of important habitat to permanently conserve for the benefit of fish, wildlife, migratory
birds and current and future generations of Americans. The Partnership is well on its way to
achieving this goal.
Partners include: Great Land Trust, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, U.S. ACOE Port
In-Lieu Fee Mitigation Fund, Eklutna Incorporated, U.S. FWS Coastal Program, Conservation
Fund Alaska, Alaskans for the Palmer Hay Flats, AK Dept of Fish & Game, Pacific Coast Joint
venture, Municipality of Anchorage, U.S. EPA, NOAA/NMFS, Joint base ElmendorfRichardson.
Savannah Oaks Conservation Easement Project Team
The Savannah Oaks Conservation Easement Team
placed 710 acres of coastal wetlands, riparian and oak
woodlands, and seasonally-flooded rice fields that
provide functions and values comparable to natural
wetlands, into permanent conservation. This effort
marked the first time that the state of Texas issued a
purchase of development rights agreement under the
State’s Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program
(FRLCP). For several years the group collaborated to
map ecologically significant habitats and build relationships with respective landowners. In
2006, the Savannah Oaks farm was identified as one of several properties with conservation
potential. In 2008, stakeholders established a funding plan, submitted a proposal to the newly
formed FRLCP and the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP). In December 2011, Texas
CEQ collaborated to directly award CIAP funds to make the project possible.
Partners include: USFWS, EPA’s Galveston Bay Estuary Program, Texas Commission
Environmental Quality, Texas General Land Office’s Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation
Program, Ducks Unlimited.
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