From North to South, Training Veterans in Habitat Restoration Across California
NOAA helps veterans transition from protecting our nation to protecting fisheries resources here at home.
About Veterans Corps Fisheries Program in California
Since 2012, NOAA has partnered with California Conservation Corps to help provide post-9/11 veterans with the opportunity to transition from serving their country to protecting their country’s fisheries resources. The Veterans Corps Fisheries Program operates out of six centers across California, providing veterans with skills, training, and connections in the natural resource field while meeting NOAA Fisheries’ mission to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.
In 2021, NOAA expanded our partnership with Mt. Adams Institute, a local non-profit organization, to include a site in Orleans, California, working in the Klamath River Basin in partnership with the Forest Service. Mt. Adams Institute's VetsWork: Environment is an 11-month career development internship program for military veterans interested in the natural resources management field. VetsWork participants are placed at local, state, and federal agencies or non-profits, where they provide project support while exploring various career paths.
What Does the Veterans Corps Fisheries Program Do?
Veterans work side-by-side with experts from state, federal, and non-profit restoration partners to implement high priority habitat restoration and monitoring projects identified in NOAA Fisheries salmon and steelhead recovery plans.
What Will the Veterans Corps Fisheries Program Accomplish?
As of June 2022, veterans have supported 305 restoration projects, conducted spawning fish surveys on 3,451 miles of stream, surveyed juvenile fish on 622 miles of stream, and characterized 280 miles of habitat. Participants’ efforts are also conserving more than 771,000 gallons of water a year in the drought-prone state, through collecting rainwater runoff on agricultural lands and reducing water use in California Conservation Corps facilities. The program will continue to restore habitats, save water, and support NOAA Fisheries’ mission into the future.
Meet Our Partners
The California Conservation Corps has been the proud sponsor of the Veterans Corps Fisheries Program since 2012. The program offers opportunities to connect and work side-by-side with a number of partners across all industries, including federal, state, local government, private, non-profit and academic partners.
In addition to working with the CCC, NOAA partnered with the Mt. Adams Institute in 2021, expanding our existing Mt. Adams partnership from Oregon to California. Veterans placed through Mt. Adams in California are working with the Forest Service in Orleans to help restore habitat and monitor salmon populations prior to the Klamath dam removal projects.
Thank you to all of these partners and others helping veterans get experience and build networks in the restoration field.
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- U.S. Forest Service
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
- County of Ventura
- Sonoma County Water Agency
- City of Santa Barbara
- California Sea Grant
- Mendocino Redwood Company
- South Coast Habitat Restoration
- Ojai Valley Land Conservancy
- Santa Monica Mountains Resource Conservation District
- California Trout
- Trout Unlimited
- Putah Creek Council
- University California Santa Barbara
- Humboldt State University
- Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
- University of California Sea Grant
How to Apply
Veterans can apply to the one-to-two-year Veterans Corps Fisheries Program directly through the California Conservation Corps. If an applicant meets all eligibility criteria, they will be placed at one of our Corps centers and receive intense on-the-job training during their first few weeks as they are introduced to the demanding and challenging field work ahead.
Veterans with honorable discharge who are California residents up to 29 years of age are encouraged to apply online. If you have additional questions, please contact a California Conservation Corps recruiter at 1-800-952-5627 or NOAA’s Bob Pagliuco at Bob.Pagliuco@noaa.gov and ask about the Veterans Corps Fisheries Program.
If you are interested in working in the Klamath Basin in California with the Mt. Adams Institute, please contact NOAA’s Bob Pagliuco at Bob.Pagliuco@noaa.gov or the Mt. Adams Institute's Aaron Stanton at Aaron@mtadamsinstitute.org.
For additional information, download our latest fact sheet (PDF, 2 pages).