The MBSTP operates on an annual budget of about $250,000. The primary expenses are staff salaries, electricity, and fish food. There are also substantial costs for fish culture supplies and overhead. Various programs are supported by grants, but no programs are completely paid for by these grants. Without the generous support of our individual donors the MBSTP financial condition would erode catastrophically. Current as of May 2014 are the grants described below.
Coho Captive Brood-stock and Recovery Program:
The Fisheries Restoration Grants Program (FRGP) has awarded three concurrent grants to support the genetic conservation and recovery of the southern coho. This program is well supported because the Central California Coast (CCC) Coho are listed as “endangered” on both State and Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) lists. The Federal ESA requires that recovery plans be developed and enacted for endangered species. NOAA Fisheries is charged with enacting their published plan to recover the CCC Coho. In that Plan the MBSTP hatchery is named as a critical need for recovering the southernmost populations of CCC coho. The grant funding is Federal money that is administered through the CDFW. A California State law prohibits that any of these funds be expended on hatchery infrastructure, upgrades, repairs, or even general maintenance. The grants department is very rigid on this point. We have been told “not even a tube of caulk”. Nothing for the hatchery. The FRGP grants do however pay for all of the operating expenses associated with the coho program. Salaries, fish food, fish culture supplies, coho process electricity, and some overhead are funded by the grant. MBSTP has had to commit substantial matching funds to win these grants. Most of our match comes in the form of in-kind labor and administration by our volunteers and board of directors. The balance of the match goes to keeping the hatchery in good repair and upgrading systems when the need arises. In order to participate in the FRGP grants system the MBSTP must have a substantial amount of operating capital on hand. There is no pre-payment by the grant. MBSTP must invoice the paid expenses with detailed documentation to the CDFW grants department in order to be reimbursed.
Current FRGP grants cover most of the coho program expenses through March of 2018. However, substantial matching funds and in-kind labor will be needed to satisfy the grant contracts.
Steelhead Supplementation Program:
The steelhead program has no grant funding and is entirely supported by our donors.
Chinook Salmon Enhancement:
The net-pen acclimation and CWT study is funded by a combination of grants and individual donations. The Monterey County Fish and Game Commission consistently funds (on a year-to-year basis) about one-fifth of the cost. An annual Perch Derby fundraiser also consistently contributes about a fifth of the program cost. In the past, additional funding has come from the Salmon Stamp Committee, and local Santa Cruz businesses. These sources are investigated annually to see if ongoing funding may be available. Individual donors cover three fifths of the program costs.
Salmon and Trout Education Program (STEP):
STEP has enjoyed substantial grant funding for many years from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. This grant paid most of the program costs. The Packard Foundation informed us two years ago that they would not be able to continue with our grant. Their rules do not allow them to fund programs indefinitely. Several smaller grants will probably continue to help support STEP, but these are on a year-to-year basis. These grantors include the following: General Electric – EL Funs, and The Flycaster’s Educational Foundation.
In 2014 funding is needed to run a printing of the curriculum package that is provided to the teachers. It is costly to produce and MBSTP is looking for grant funding to cover $20,000 worth of multi-media printing.
General Funding and Needs-Based Support:
The donations received by MBSTP are generally un-restricted and can be used as needed. Special projects outside the scope of regular operations require fund-drives to stimulate more support from our donors and additional targeted grants. The Santa Cruz County Fish and Game Commission typically offers grants for special projects of merit. Currently, grants from the Rose Foundation and the Nell Neumann Foundation are helping to pay for some expensive, but sorely needed, new hatchery systems. The NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center is a close partner with MBSTP and some of their grant funding assists with MBSTP needs.
Your generous donation is needed to keep the salmonid recovery effort of the greater Monterey Bay Region strong. Equipment is needed for protecting the hatchery from drought and fungal infections! Please help!