What We Do

The mission of the North Coast Coho Project is to restore native steelhead and salmon populations along California’s North Coast to self-sustaining levels through cooperative partnerships with private landowners, local, state, and federal agencies, and community watershed groups. Our work is grounded in the best available science and practices, and delivers significant benefits to local economies by creating jobs focused watershed assessments, restoration construction, and fisheries population monitoring to evaluate our results.

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TU and its partners:

Prevented 533,890 cubic yards of potential sediment delivery into streams.

Installed woody structure in 120 miles of stream.

Constructed over 2,118 instream large wood structures

Improved or eliminated over 862 miles of forest roads

Removed 12 major fish migration barriers.

Made accessible 70.6 miles of stream habitat.

TU’s NCCP is a cold water conservation program unique in its purpose, scale and scope. Our target geography is native salmon and steelhead streams along 400 miles of Califonia's coast between the Russian and Klamath Rivers. Our diverse partners include timber and gravel companies, vineyards and wineries, other private landowners, technical consulting firms, local watershed non-profit organizations, and state and federal agencies. The NCCP’s cooperative approach has, for two decades, served as a proven blueprint for salmon and steelhead habitat restoration on the North Coast, and elsewhere.

The NCCP delivers both overall management and administration of habitat restoration and fish passage projects as well as some of the scientific work that precedes and follows them. More specifically, the NCCP assesses watershed conditions; develops and implements projects that reduce sediment delivery to streams; installs large wood and boulders instream to enhance habitat conditions; removes or repairs old logging roads; and improves fish passage by removing road related barriers and small dams. TU and our partners also monitor fish populations to help quantify project outcomes.

The NCCP was born in 1998 with the establishment of a new public-private partnership with the Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) in the Garcia River watershed. In this initial partnership, TU, MRC, and Pacific Watershed Associates worked with resource agencies to develop and fund restoration efforts on the South Fork of the Garcia River, important habitat for Coho and steelhead. This partnership prevented 70% of predicted road-related sediment from reaching the river, -- an amount equivalent to 3,500 full dump trucks. NCCP’s other timber interest partners now include Humboldt Redwood Company, Lyme Redwood Forest Company, the Redwood Forest Foundation, and the Jackson State Demonstration Forest.

Since 2008, the NCCP has raised and leveraged nearly $25 million for habitat restoration for over 75 individual projects. Overall, this program has restored, or evaluated for restoration potential, thousands of acres of habitat in the Eel, Ten Mile, Noyo, Big, Albion, Navarro, Garcia, and Russian River watersheds as well as in smaller drainages like Freshwater Creek, Usal, Cottaneva, and Pudding.

Through TU’s North Coast Coho Project and these forward-thinking companies and key stakeholders active restoration is occurring across several hundred thousand acres of forest land in Northern California – improving the odds of full recovery of two of California’s most iconic fish species, Coho Salmon and steelhead trout.