Thanks to a $2.01m grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP, pronounced “Kelp”), theConfederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians (CTSI) will soon own and steward Cape Foulweather, an ecologically and culturally significant property overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The CELCP grant that will fund this project was awarded to the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) this spring through the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding for Coastal Zone Management programs.
As part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021, Congress made up to $284 million available for these grants for coastal land conservation projects. The award for Cape Foulweather was part of the first round funding for this important program. According to a press release from DLCD, Cape Foulweather’s rare rocky shores contain important salt spray meadow and Sitka Spruce forest habitat which will be permanently protected for its ecological, cultural and visual benefits, bolstering the resilience of the Tribe and coastal community. With this funding, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians will regain ownership of a parcel on their traditional homelands—the only site the Tribe will own with coastal access.
Cape Foulweather is currently held by McKenzie River Trust, who purchased the property using a Craft3 bridge loan with the goal of transferring it to the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians. “We are thrilled to see the return of funding like this which recognizes natural land and cultural tradition at the core of infrastructure and critical to community resilience. Kudos to the state of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians for their leadership in working with NOAA,” said Joe Moll, Executive Director, McKenzie River Trust.
In the face of a biodiversity crisis and climate change, protecting our coasts and investing inresilient landscapes is more important than ever. The CELCP supports conservation easements and land acquisition, and is a critical funding tool to protect important coastal and estuarine areas that have significant conservation, recreation, ecological, historical or aesthetic values, or are threatened.
“The CELCP is a significant funding source for land trusts and Tribal partners interested in protecting ecologically and culturally significant coastal lands,” said Kelley Beamer, Executive Director for the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts. “This project is one of the first to be funded since CELCP funding was restored in the 2021 Infrastructure bill, and it really shows the national and regional significance of Oregon’s unique coastal and estuary lands.