SAN FRANCISCO - The Nature Restoration Trust, a partnership between PG&E Corporation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, announced today it has issued a request for proposals and will provide up to $320,000 in challenge grants to community groups and schools for projects that restore the natural habitats of fish and wildlife.
The Nature Restoration Trust - through federal funds and PG&E Corporation shareholder funds - will provide up to two-thirds of a project's cost. Grant applicants must be able to secure the remaining one-third through non-federal sources, including cash contributions and donated goods and services.
"This program is a creative partnership that engages young people and communities in the protection and restoration of fish and wildlife habitats in the places where they live," said Foundation Executive Director John Berry. "We're delighted by the past success of the program and look forward to providing continuing support for stewardship and enhancement of the natural places that contribute to California's unique biodiversity."
Grants are available for projects within the northern and central California service area of Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Nonprofit community-based organizations, local governments and school districts are encouraged to apply. The grants are targeted at projects that involve local middle or high schools; include multiple partners; help promote diversity; and involve lands that are accessible to the public. Projects eligible for challenge grant funds include native habitat restoration, conservation, and environmental education programs.
Applications must be submitted through the Foundation's online application process. Applications and a detail of proposal guidelines are available at www.nfwf.org
The deadline to submit proposals is October 15, 2004. The partnership has already delivered nearly $280,000 in Federal dollars, $280,000 in PG&E Corporation dollars, and nearly $647,000 raised by the grantees for a total investment of over $1.2 million for twenty-four successful habitat restoration projects in California.
"This unique public/private partnership has restored natural habitat from Humboldt to Santa Barbara counties and from Bay waters to the Sierra foothills, with sites as varied as an urban salt marsh, creek side vineyards and a national forest," said Robert Harris, PG&E's vice president of environmental affairs. "These restoration projects were implemented through a collaborative process that brought together the business community, local residents, schools and colleges, non-profit organizations, and government agency resource professionals."
Elementary students, high school ecology classes, university interns, and at-risk youth were provided with field science opportunities that included constructing artificial dens in fields and orchards to protect kit foxes from coyotes; developing a fisheries enhancement plan; removal of non-native species and re-planting of native plants to benefit native and often endangered species; assessment and monitoring of estuarine flora and fauna; and raising and reintroducing Pacific chorus frogs.
This year, PG&E will grant $170,000 and the Foundation will provide up to $150,000 to fulfill the partnership's commitment to fund $1 million in matching grants for restoration projects.
The Nature Restoration Trust was established in 1999 to empower communities to restore native habitats in urban, suburban and rural areas. The partnership reflects the commitment of PG&E Corporation and the Foundation to develop policies and programs that benefit the environment and foster cooperation between industry and the conservation community.