Agency or authority
What this permitting pathway covers
The Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Act (HREA) provides a faster (30 or 60-day approval) and simpler process with one single approval from CDFW in lieu of getting a separate Section 1600 Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement (LSAA) and/or California Endangered Species Act (CESA) authorization, for small-scale (not exceeding a maximum project size of 5 acres or a cumulative 500 linear feet), voluntary habitat restoration projects throughout California. Restoration and enhancement projects approved by CDFW, pursuant to HREA, do not require additional permits from CDFW.
- HREA process can be especially helpful for those qualifying projects that would otherwise need both an LSAA and CESA permit from CDFW.
- Projects that receive funding through the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program can also apply to use the HREA.
To qualify, HREA projects must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements for the State Water Board General Order for Small Habitat Restoration Projects, which includes not exceeding a maximum project size of 5 acres or a cumulative 500 linear feet.
- Have the primary purpose of improving fish and wildlife habitat.
- Avoid or minimize any incidental impacts.
Two permitting pathways are defined in Fish & Game Code:
- Section 1652 – This pathway is appropriate for projects that have not received a Notice of Applicability (NOA) under the Water Board General Order for Small Habitat Restoration Projects. A project must meet the eligibility requirements for the General Order for Small Habitat Restoration Projects but is not required to use it for 401 Certification. CDFW has 60 days to determine if a 1652 request is complete and eligible for coverage under the HREA.
- Section 1653 – This pathway is appropriate for projects that have received an NOA under the Water Board General Order for Small Habitat Restoration Projects. CDFW has 30 days to determine if a 1653 request is complete and eligible for coverage under the HREA.
Statewide - aquatic/riparian areas or areas that could impact Waters of the State
How to apply
It is highly recommended that you contact your CDFW Region for pre-consultation. Pre-consultation is opening a dialogue with CDFW early in the planning process, before an approval request is submitted. Pre-consultation can help avoid incomplete requests or delays in the approval process, and can help with the development of appropriate species protection measures.
May be used with:
- CEQA Categorical Exemption 15333 – Small Habitat Restoration Projects
- Water Board General Order for Small Habitat Restoration Projects
- USACE Nationwide Permit 27 – Aquatic Habitat Restoration
- Santa Cruz County Partners in Restoration Permit Coordination Program (PIR)
- USFWS PBO for Projects that May Affect the California Red-legged Frog (Ventura FWO)
- South Coast NMFS Programmatic Biological Opinion (PBO)
- Central Coast NMFS Programmatic Biological Opinion (PBO)
- CDFW Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP)
- Lower Sugar Creek Beaver Dam Analogue Project
- Fish Passage Improvement on Crossing 9, Quiota Creek
- San Geronimo Creek Habitat Enhancement Project
See the full list of projects and their locations on this CDFW webpage.