The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that it will award $3.3 million to the Matilija Dam project.
The grant was part of $40 million in Proposition 1 funds awarded for "water quality, river and watershed protection, and restoration projects for vital waterways throughout California." Proposition 1 was passed by California voters in 2014.
This grant will be administered by the Ventura County Watershed Protection District to complete engineering design and environmental permitting for the dam removal project. A three-year timeframe will result in a "shovel ready" project in 2019.
The successful Prop 1 grant proposal was compiled by county staff with support from the Matilija Coalition, California Trout, and the Ventura River Watershed coordinator, along with other agency support.
These efforts are coordinated by the Matilija Dam Funding Committee, which was formed earlier this year following the consensus agreement on the dam removal project.
Nov 30, 2016: the Hewlett Foundation announced a $50 million fund for river restoration in the west.
Hewlett Foundation’s initial pledge of $175,000 for Matilija Dam will support local groups working toward the dam's removal. This includes grants to the Surfrider Foundation, California Trout, and other organizations to provide technical support and community outreach on the project.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation marked the organization’s 50th anniversary by donating $50 million to establish the Open Rivers Fund, the largest fund dedicated to supporting local community efforts to remove obsolete dams and restore rivers across the western United States. Resources Legacy Fund, a nonprofit that has significant experience in developing and implementing complex conservation programs and projects, will identify potential dam removal projects -- based on the local need, widespread community support and collaboration, and opportunity for multiple community and environmental benefits – and, over the next ten years, support the work of local groups and agencies in removing the dams. The Open Rivers Fund launches with three initial projects, including the largest dam removal project in California, the Matilija Dam.