By: Ken White, ARRA Communications
The Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge near Castroville, California, boasts a colorful mosaic of coastal dunes, beaches, salt marshes, saline ponds, grasslands, and riparian habitats. It features one of the few remaining wetlands along the central California coast, which provides shelter for thousands of migratory birds traveling the Pacific Flyway. The refuge also protects several threatened and endangered species.
Fencing along the southern boundary of the refuge was installed more than 20 years ago. Over time, portions of the fence have deteriorated and collapsed, which makes it easy for people and vehicles to trespass onto the refuge. This access threatened habitat and endangered species.
Last November, the refuge received $39,945.03 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to remove and replace the existing fence and entrance gate.
“This project will help protect threatened and endangered species and their habitat, which is a priority mandate for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Diane Kodama, refuge manager. “The new fence design will benefit both the refuge and our southern boundary neighbor by reducing vehicle trespass and protecting the adjacent agriculture fields.”
The contract was awarded to Combined Effort, Inc., of Jamestown, California. Combined Effort, Inc. (CEI), a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), is working on a variety of projects for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“This is our first ARRA project with the Fish and Wildlife Service in California,” explained Cheryl Brandt, CEO, Combined Effort, Inc. “Working close to our home office gives us pride in helping local economies. It also helps to keep our work force at home employed. All of the personnel at FWS have been great to work with,” she added.
“They have always gone out of their way to make sure that projects are run efficiently and that the environment is protected. As we develop better ways to make projects more cost-effective or better for the environment, they’re always willing to listen to our ideas and implement what they feel is best.”
This project is expected to be completed by September 2010.
For more information, contact Erica Szlosek, (916) 978-6159, firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally posted 05/12/2010