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Fish Habitat Benefits From More Than $3 Million in Funding


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will provide more than $3.3 million to
support 68 fish habitat projects in 36 states across the nation under the
National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP). An additional $9.9 million in
partner contributions, over $13.2 million in total, will go toward
restoring and enhancing stream, lake and coastal habitat, as well as to
improving recreational fishing and helping endangered species.

Here in Alaska, the Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership will use
$8,100 in Service funds and $47,600 in partner funds to restore stream
banks eroded by motorized trail use on Beaver Creek on the Kenai Peninsula.

Service funding is provided for priority projects identified through
fifteen Fish Habitat Partnerships established under the NFHAP. The
partnerships formed help direct funding and other resources to habitat
improvement projects offering the highest long-term conservation returns.

Aquatic ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changes in climate. Healthy
habitats help fish and other aquatic life withstand flows and temperatures
that are altered due to climate change. Thirty of the projects, supported
by $2 million of the Service funds, will improve stream flow, remove
barriers or acquire scientific information needed for long-term protection
against the effects of climate change.

“The Service is pleased to work side-by-side with our partners to improve
habitat for fish. These projects represent the mutual priorities of broad
locally-based partnerships,” said Dan Ashe, Deputy Director of the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service.

More than 40 percent of U.S. fish populations are currently considered
declining, half of the waters in the U.S. are somehow impaired, and
fragmented conservation efforts are not reversing these declines. Besides
climate change, principal factors contributing to these declines include:
habitat destruction and fragmentation, toxic substances, invasive species,
harmful algal blooms and altered thermal regimes.

In addition to helping stem these declines, NFHAP projects also enhance
fishing opportunities for the public by putting more dollars on the ground
for fish conservation.

Other highlights of this year’s funding for NFHAP Partnership projects

Arizona (Western Native Trout Initiative) - $130,000 in Service funds
and $292,000 in partner funds to re-establish habitat for threatened
Gila trout in West Fork Oak Creek.
Hawaii (Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership) - $46,064 in Service funds
and $60,050 in partner funds to begin remediation of He’eia estuary and
wetland, Kane’ohe Bay, Oahu.
South Carolina (Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership) - $121,429
in Service funds and $96,700 in partner funds to restore Crabtree Swamp,
a tributary to the Waccamaw River, to benefit sturgeon and other
migratory fish species.
South Dakota (Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership) - $21,429 in Service
funds and $7,250 in partner funds to demonstrate lake-friendly
landscaping techniques using native lakeshore buffers to reduce
sedimentation and fertilizer runoff.
Utah (Desert Fish Habitat Partnership) - $90,000 in Service funds and
$150,000 in partner funds to provide fish passage in the Duchesne River
for Colorado pikeminnow and other imperiled fish species.
Virginia (Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture) - $21,428 in Service
funds and $21,000 in partner funds to restore instream and riparian
habitat for native brook trout in Garth Run, Rappahannock River
Washington (Western Native Trout Initiative) - $115,000 in Service
funds and more than $3 million in partner funds to increase flows in the
Lower Wenatchee River by improving irrigation systems to benefit bull
trout, steelhead and Chinook salmon.
West Virginia (Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture) - $64,285 in
Service funds and $183,500 in partner funds to remove 9 fish passage
barriers in Thorn Creek, Pendleton County to benefit severely impaired
native brook trout populations.

For a complete listing of funded projects, please visit:
NFHAP is a national investment strategy to maximize the impact of
conservation dollars on the ground. Under the plan, federal, state and
privately-raised funds are the foundation for building regional
partnerships that address the Nation’s biggest fish habitat issues. This
comprehensive effort will treat the causes of fish habitat decline, not
just the symptoms.

For more information about the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, its
partnerships and programs please visit: www.fishhabitat.org .

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to
conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for
the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and
trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific
excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated
professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our
work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
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