RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. – September 24, 2019 – Ducks Unlimited, in partnership with the Biggs-West Gridley Water District (BWGWD), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, officially began Phase II of the Gray Lodge Water Supply Project outside of Gridley this month, clearing brush and debris from several miles of canals that provide water to the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. The multi-year Gray Lodge Water Supply Project will eventually modernize the canals and other infrastructure that convey Gray Lodge Wildlife Area’s water supplies
The Biggs-West Gridley Water District (BWGWD) was awarded funding of up to $52,450,000 by the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) in August of 2017 for project work to improve water delivery to Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. This CNRA Proposition 1 Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) grant will enable the wildlife area to receive full water allocations for the first time while also meeting delivery needs to local agriculture.
Reclamation originally completed Phase I in 2015, reshaping almost 6.5 canal miles and providing $28.2 million in funding.
“Gray Lodge is one of the most important wetland areas in the entire Pacific Flyway, providing vital wintering habitat for up to one million ducks and more than 100,000 geese,” said Virginia Getz, Ducks Unlimited’s western region manager of conservation programs. “This project will deliver the conveyance system improvements that are long overdue and provide the capability to support high quality wetland habitat for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife.
“This is a great opportunity for the agricultural water community to work with the environmental community on a multi-benefit water management project,” said Eugene Massa, BWGWD General Manager. “We are excited to get started with the on-the-ground construction that will benefit the people and wildlife of this region when finished.”