Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen Conservation Committee Mission Statement

"To conserve, protect and restore local, state and national fisheries and related habitat through contribution, education and volunteer efforts; with a focus on those waters and fish of most importance to the SCFF membership."

Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen Conservation Committee
Charitable Organization Recipients

Monterey Bay Salmon & Trout Project:

The Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the restoration, conservation, and enhancement of native wild silver (Coho) salmon and steelhead populations and their coastal and marine habitats from San Mateo to the south Monterey Bay area. The Project is also dedicated to the enhancement of the King (Chinook) salmon population in the Monterey Bay waters. The Project is involved with public education and is concerned with the development of habitat restoration projects. The MBS&TP works to achieve improved water quality and flow. It is the operator of the Davenport Hatchery and rearing facilities.

To restore declining local anadromous fishery resources, i.e., the unique races of silver and steelhead trout native to the local Monterey Bay area and to enhance the Chinook salmon populations in Monterey Bay waters.

Product or Project Highlights:
To accomplish the goals of the MBS&TP has developed three major programs:
Coho Salmon and Steelhead
Chinook Salmon Enhancement
Salmon and Trout Education (STEP)

The MBS&TP operates a hatchery and rearing facility to supplement natural production, which has been reduced due to habitat degradation. One objective of this program is the reintroduction of native steelhead and especially Coho (silver) salmon into local stream where they were historically present. The MBS&TP assists the California Department of Fish and Game (CDF&G) in research addressing current limiting factors, such as the elimination of certain diseases endemic to the habitat. To date the MBS&TP has released over 1.9 million Coho salmon and steelhead into area streams from whence they out migrate to the ocean and grow naturally into maturity, returning to our native streams to spawn, then native fish.

Chinook Salmon Enhancement
The MBS&TP operates salt-water net pens in Moss Landing and Monterey harbors to acclimate Chinook salmon fingerlings obtained from the Feather River Hatchery into the ocean. The objective of this program is to reduce fish losses during out migration thereby increasing the numbers of Chinook salmon available in Monterey Bay for sport and commercial fishery. As of June 2004, the MBS&TP has released 2 million Chinook salmon into the Monterey Bay.

Salmon and Trout Education (STEP)
The MBS&TP currently supports the STEP program in over 155 classrooms from San Bruno to Gonzales (elementary through high school grade levels). The purpose of this program is to develop awareness of the life cycle and habitat requirements of our local salmon and steelhead. To this end the Project has developed and distributed class curricula, trained teachers, and provided continuing support including eyed steelhead eggs for rearing in classroom aquaria. To date approximately 150,000 students have participated in this program.

Funding Shortfall
During the life of the MBS&TP, the CDF&G provided substantial financial support. In recent years CDF&G budgets have been severely cut with corresponding reductions in what they have provided to the MBS&TP. In 2003, the Governor's office vetoed the entire MBS&TP appropriation. Subsequent action by the Commercial Salmon Stamp Committee provided only partial funding for the 2004 Chinook Salmon Program. However, support for the Project's three major programs came from the MBS&TP treasury. As a non-profit MBS&TP relies on the generosity of the community, especially in light of the state's funding cutbacks. Major increased support from the community is needed to offset the CDF&G shortfall. Without this increased community contribution, the very existence of the MBS&TP is in question.

Coastal Watershed Council:
It is a local organization and has been one of the SCFF volunteer support organizations as well. The CWC helps leverage the efforts of all the other agencies working to improve the Monterey Bay watershed by sharing water quality data collected by the organization.

CWC plays a critical role in the central coast of California by providing valuable watershed monitoring, data and educational programs focusing on salmonid streams and non point source pollution issues. CWC has managed 8 greater Monterey Bay watershed monitoring programs involving more than 250 volunteers annually and providing watershed monitoring on over 70 miles of streams. These programs operate in the counties of Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Monterey. The data collected by its monitoring programs is used by local resource agencies to identify limiting factors with regards to salmonid habitat and recovery and riparian conservation priorities. Funding for their programs is provided through federal, state and foundation grants; private donations, organizational fundraising events; contract services with nonprofits and government agencies and general membership fees.

CWC program areas focus on:
* Watershed Stewardship, Research and Rehabilitation
* Watershed Education and Outreach (with regards to endangered species & nonpoint source pollution)
* Organizational Support and Technical Assistance
* Provide watershed Monitoring and educational programs focusing on salmonid streams in the counties of Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Monterey.

California Trout:
Cal Trout's mission is to protect and restore wild trout, native steelhead and the waters they inhabit throughout California, and to create high quality angling opportunities for the public to enjoy.

In the mid-1960s a dozen avid trout fishermen and steelhead devotees came together to form the nucleus of what would become California Trout. The trout fishermen were concerned that the state government's answer to deteriorating fishing conditions was to build and operate hatcheries and plant their domesticated products in lakes and streams everywhere. The steelheaders were worried that the state and federal governments were dead set on destroying the last remaining steelhead waters with huge "killer dams."

Initially organized as a local unit of a fledgling national trout group, the founders formed CalTrout during Christmas week of 1970 and filed papers of incorporation the following January. Among its officers and board members were a doctor, an insurance broker, a public relations executive, a tackle shop owner and a real estate agent.

Improving fishing opportunities was and remains important, but it was a secondary goal. CalTrout was the nation's first statewide conservation group supported by trout fishermen with an altruistic goal: to protect and restore trout and the beautiful places where they live. In this way, CalTrout was revolutionary and unique.

Eastern Sierra Land Trust:
The Eastern Sierra Land Trust works with willing landowners to protect vital lands in Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties for their scenic recreational, historic, agricultural, botanic, watershed, and wildlife values. (It is an organization similar to the Sempervirens Fund in the Santa Cruz Mountains).

Founded in 2001, the ESLT is the first and only land trust based in Inyo, Mono, and Alpine counties. They began their work when private citizens and public officials in our area expressed interest in the development of alternatives, mitigations, and habitat protections that land trusts can provide.

In December 2003 ESLT completed their first voluntary land conservation agreements (commonly referred to as conservation easements), in the migration corridor of the Round Valley Mule Deer Herd; the following year they hired their first professional staff. In 2005-2006 ESLT completed land protection agreements to protect 818-acre Montgomery Creek Ranch, keeping its historic water rights forever in agriculture, and to protect important wildlife habitat at Big Hot Springs Ranch on the Highway 395 scenic corridor.

Today they're working to protect other vital lands making up a total of 6,000 protected acres thus far.

This organization was recommended by member Elaine Cook as one of the best for improvements to the Eastern Sierra watershed. The organization sent a speaker to our Mammoth Lakes Fish0ut.

Friends of the River:
The FOTR are dedicated to preserving, protecting and restoring California's rivers, streams, and their watersheds; by providing public education, citizen activist training and organizing, and expert advocacy to influence public policy decisions on land, water, and energy management issues; and advocating sustainable water management.

Friends of the River protects and restores California Rivers by influencing public policy and inspiring citizen action.

Friends of the River was founded in 1973 during the struggle to save the Stanislaus River from New Melones Dam. Following that campaign, the group grew to become California's statewide river conservation organization.

Today, Friends of the River has nearly 6,000 members, 12 staff members, and a 12 member Board of Directors. The organization's 2009 budget was $1.06 million. The organization's flagship publication, Headwaters, is published bi-annually, and has a distribution of 6,000. Friends of the River is based in Sacramento with field offices in Monterey and Valencia.

Friends of the River is nationally recognized as an authority on the adverse impacts of dams on rivers and ecosystems and is the most effective grassroots organization working on behalf of rivers.

Friends of the River led successful campaigns for the permanent protection of many outstanding California rivers and streams - including the Kings, Kern, Merced, Tuolumne, upper Klamath, West Walker, East Carson, Sisquoc, and Big Sur Rivers; as well as Sespe Creek and Cache Creek.

California Sportfishing Protection Alliance:
CSPA seeks administrative and legal remedies to restore degraded fisheries and guard against threats to those that are still in good shape. California attorney fishermen provide much of the administrative and legal work of this organization pro bono.

The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance is a longstanding nonprofit organization working for the conservation of California's fisheries and their aquatic habitat. In so doing, they seek administrative remedies to restore degraded fisheries and their riverine habitat and guard against further threats to these extremely valuable public resources.

California has many laws protecting fisheries and their habitat but a poor track record of enforcing them. CSPA continuously monitors the water rights process to protect the public's aquatic environment upon which our fisheries are so dependent.

Over the past twenty years they have filed several hundred protests with the State Water Resources Control Board against detrimental water quality conditions as well as deleterious water rights applications and decisions, to assure that adequate amounts of good quality water stay in our rivers, streams, and estuaries. These efforts have directly benefited more than a hundred rivers, streams, and watersheds in California and have resulted in substantial improvements in flow and better in-stream habitat for fish and wildlife.

The organization continuously monitors the activities of the federal and state resource agencies, including the California Department of Fish and Game, Department of Water Resources, the California Fish and Game Commission, the State of California Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the federal National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. EPA, and the Bureau of Reclamation. No other sport fishing group maintains such a steady presence with these important agencies that have management responsibility for the public's fishery resources.

The CSPA participates in the re-licensing of hydroelectric projects and, when necessary, file comments, complaints and petitions of intervention with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure that hydroelectric project licenses are amended to provide sufficient flows for fish. They actively participate in the California Hydropower Reform Coalition as a steering committee member, and work with coalition allies to improve the environmental condition of watersheds, rivers and fisheries that are dramatically impacted by the way that hydroelectric projects are licensed and operated.

They have filed, often in conjunction with other groups, legal actions against a number of state and federal agencies, in order to enforce the laws established to protect fish and their habitat. When necessary, we have also filed legal actions to compel those that violate their waste discharge permits, issued under the Clean Water Act, to comply with the laws intended to restore the integrity of California's waterways. These legal actions seek compliance with environmental laws and with fishery management regulations to encourage our government to be a proper steward of the public's natural resources.

The organization is currently participating in the Governor's Delta Vision Process. Our Conservation Director was appointed to this effort to help reestablish the sustainability of the Delta ecosystem and its fishery resources including salmon, steelhead, striped bass and sturgeon. CSPA developed and presented the Fishery Recovery and Restoration Plan to the Governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force. Some forty members of the Allied Fishing Groups, an entity that the CSPA helped to establish to make a stand for saving the Bay-Delta estuary, endorsed this plan.

CSPA works with state and federal fishery agency leadership to formulate CALFED estuarine and fishery restoration policies and programs. To this end, CSPA, along with several other conservation and environmental groups, participated in a series of meetings with Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt during the Clinton Administration. These meetings developed critical policy vital to the establishment of equitable fishery restoration programs in California.

CSPA works closely with the Environmental Water Caucus and the Allied Fishing Groups to secure a responsible water future for California's public and its fishery resources and plays an important leadership role in these critical undertakings.

Sempervirens Fund:
Their mission is "To protect and permanently preserve redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests, wildlife habitat, watersheds, and other important natural and scenic features of California's Santa Cruz Mountains, and to encourage public appreciation and enjoyment of this environment."

To create a permanently protected, forested, continuous ecosystem from Half Moon Bay to Monterey Bay, encompassing the coastal mountains of San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties, with extensive trails, picnic and campsites, landscapes, and scenic vistas for public enjoyment and inspiration.

The Sempervirens Fund seeks to achieve this purpose in several ways:
* By acquiring suitable land in a working partnership with the State of California and other public and private agencies
* By completing Big Basin Redwoods and Castle Rock state parks
* By fostering public participation in activities such as reforestation and trail projects
* By linking parks and open spaces to provide an integrated parkland system

San Lorenzo High School Watershed Academy:
This program has a lot of local member support, and is one of the possible areas of partnership for the club to provide leadership, volunteer effort and financial support.

The Watershed Academy is a four-year Environmental Technology program for students in grades 9-12 that provides four years of science, with specialty courses in Aquaculture, Environmental Science and Environmental monitoring. This California State funded program is a partnership between business and education that provides real-world work experience in the field, as well as an integrated academic and technical curriculum.

The Watershed Academy seeks bright, creative students with interest in learning about the relationship of math, science, technology and communication to their daily lives and futures. Upon graduation, students are prepared not only for entry-level employment in a high-growth profession, but are also equipped with the academic skills for continuing their education.

A watershed is the land area drained by a given river. The San Lorenzo River is about 25 miles long, but the river's watershed encompasses many tributaries, too.

Terry Umstead and Jane Orbuch, (teachers at San Lorenzo High School), had a dream to integrate our local environment and watershed into an educationally rich and hands-on science program for students. Terry specifically wanted to see the populations of Coho salmon and Steelhead increase in the San Lorenzo River and wished to create a fish hatchery to make this goal a reality. Jane Orbuch wanted to see students educated in science and the environment using the San Lorenzo River Watershed as its theme. She also wanted to students do real hands-on environmental science monitoring projects.

Jane and Terry applied for a California State Department of Education Specialized Secondary program grant in 1998 and were funded for four years. Kelly Wade enhanced the program by applying for a California State Department of Education Partnership Academy Grant in 2000, under which the program is still funded.

Salmon and Trout Education Program (STEP):
This program provides perhaps the best youth stewardship of our local watershed and anadramous species of any of our conservation efforts; as well as returning steelhead smolts into our local watersheds. We believe this is a very high leverage and long benefit program.

STEP is another local program with a lot of volunteer support from the membership. It is also one where we are likely to continue to partner for volunteer efforts. This particular contribution is earmarked to be for sponsoring a new local teacher for the two-day training and curriculum materials required to become a STEP instructor in a local classroom.

The Salmon & Trout Education Program (STEP) a separate program of the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project, has been developed to provide students with a chance to learn "hands on" about salmon and steelhead and the habitats in which they live. The K-12 program uses a thematic firsthand approach, offering teachers the tools and the ideas for Students exploring a creek-bed; integrating math, science, language, arts, etc. Students learn about salmon and steelhead life cycles, their habitat requirements and the problems and solutions to preserving these "indicator" species and the watersheds in which they live.

Teachers who wish to learn and participate in teaching STEP are offered a two-day workshop, which provides cooperative learning, utilizing actual lessons from the curriculum material. Teachers interact and learn together, exchanging ideas and experiences with each other and with the trainers who are teachers themselves. Highlights include demonstrations of favorite lessons and activities including an off site stream study and an overview of the classroom incubation activity.

Teachers learn actual methods and techniques for working with groups of students out on a stream and how to process streamside information back in the classroom. Teachers are provided with a copy of the original STEP curriculum, revised lessons, and a packet of resource materials. For teachers who desire to participate in classroom incubation, guidance is given in the materials required, actual set-up and the permitting process required to allow live wild steelhead eggs to be raised to fry stage and then be released into local streams.

STEP is a comprehensive curriculum that encompasses all subjects including but not limited to biology, mathematics, reading and art. It uses the "salmonid life cycles and habitat requirements" as central theme and has been recognized by state educators as a "model of thematic teaching". In most instances, an aquarium and chiller will be placed in the classroom. Fertilized eggs (supplied under permit from the Department of Fish and Game by the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project Research Facility) are placed in the aquarium. Through teacher training and their use of the "resource kit", students learn that there is much more involved than simply watching a salmon egg hatch. After the eggs have successfully hatched and the fry have matured to the point of the "yolk and the fry sac" being absorbed, the fry are released into a pre-selected coastal stream in an effort to enhance native fish populations. The STEP program is part of the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project (MBS&TP), which is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to restoring the runs of native salmon and steelhead. There's excitement in the STEP class when the steelhead eggs are delivered. The Salmon & Trout Education Program has been in existence since its pilot conception in 1987. From this one classroom the program and a network of teachers has grown to over 150 classrooms. Classrooms from agricultural communities such as Gonzales and Salinas, or from the urban inner cities of San Jose or Santa Clara or from the coastal hills of Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties have all joined together to form what is known as STEP. Several school districts have chosen to take STEP district-wide as well, allowing mentors and leaders to develop a scope and sequence within their own district. Teachers share and link information and experiences locally, regionally and world wide via the NET.

The Bay Institute:
The Bay Institute's mission is to protect, restore and inspire conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed from the Sierra to the sea.

The Bay Institute was founded in 1981 by pioneers of a new advocacy approach - one that viewed the entire Bay-Delta ecosystem as a single, interdependent watershed. They claimed environmental reform that would benefit the Bay must recognize the importance of events in the farthest reaches of the watershed just as urgently as those along the Bay shoreline, and that reduced freshwater flow was the biggest factor in the decline of the estuary's fish and wildlife resources.

Today, this approach is commonly accepted wisdom. Tragically, it is also widely recognized that the water quality of the Bay and its river Delta is unacceptable, and that species and habitats are in danger.

The Bay Institute uses a combination of scientific research, political advocacy, and public education to work toward the environmental restoration of the entire watershed that drains into San Francisco Bay.

This watershed includes the Sacramento River and the San Joaquin Rivers as well as their tributaries, Suisun Marsh, San Pablo Bay, and San Francisco Bay. The land area covers 40 percent of California. Nearly half of the surface water in California starts as rain or snow that falls in this area, and about half of that is diverted for use on farms, in homes, and in factories. The remaining water flows downstream through the largest inland delta, the largest brackish water marsh, and the largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas.

Their work also encompasses the centers of political and economic power, from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Washington DC., where they fight to ensure the long-term environmental needs of the SF Bay watershed have equal footing with other priorities in the formation of the area's environmental and economic policies.

Their affiliate Aquarium of the Bay's exhibits provide an inspiring window to San Francisco Bay's diverse but imperiled ecosystems and wildlife. Aquarium of the Bay also offers free educational programs that prepare the next generation of stewards to protect and restore the Bay and its watershed.

Northern California Council-Federation of Fly Fishers:
Conserving, Restoring, Educating Through Fly Fishing

The Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen has an ongoing relationship with the NCCFFF, and supports them through our membership.