The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners are providing $12 million during the next three years to support 75 fish habitat conservation projects in 27 states, ranging from restoring submerged aquatic vegetation and oyster beds in Florida and New York to restoring degraded stream and estuary habitat for native fish in Hawaii.
“Together with our partners, we identified the 75 projects
through the National Fish Habitat Partnership, a diverse coalition of
public and private organizations that works to reverse declines in fish
habitat through voluntary, non-regulatory actions,” said Service
Director Dan Ashe. “The projects will benefit aquatic species by
protecting, restoring and enhancing stream, lake and coastal habitat as
well as anglers by improving recreational fisheries. In doing so, they
will also give a boost to local communities that benefit from the
outdoor recreation economy.”
The National Fish Habitat Partnership helps Service biologists
prioritize conservation work to get the greatest benefit for fish and
other aquatic resources and ultimately for the American people. The
partnership recently completed the first nationwide scientific
assessment of the status of fish habitats and identified conservation
priorities across the country.
To fund the projects, the Service is providing $3.17 million
this year, with nongovernmental organizations, state resource agencies
and other partners contributing an additional $9.45 million during the
next three years.
Through the funded projects, partners will work in priority
areas to restore stream banks, remove man-made barriers to fish
passage, reduce erosion from farm and ranchlands, and conduct studies
to identify conservation needs for fish and their habitats. Expected
results of the projects include more robust fish populations, better
fishing and healthier waterways. Many of the projects also are designed
to help fish populations adapt to the effects of climate change and
other environmental disruptions.
“Better fishing is a big benefit of these projects,” said Kelly
Hepler, Assistant Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and
Game and Chairman of the National Fish Habitat Board. “With better
fishing come more tourism, tackle sales and other economic activity, as
well as a better quality of life in local communities.”
Projects sponsored by the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat
Partnership will restore submerged aquatic vegetation and oyster beds
in Florida and New York. The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture will
remove barriers in Maine and Pennsylvania and remediate acid mine
drainage in Virginia. The Western Native Trout Initiative will
restore habitat that is crucial to cutthroat trout, Gila trout and bull
trout, all of which are imperiled. Projects sponsored by the Hawaii
Fish Habitat Partnership will restore degraded stream and estuary
habitat for native fish.
The list of projects can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/fisheries/whatwedo/NFHAP/documents/2013_FWS_funded_NFHP_projects_listed_by_State.pdf
For more information about the National Fish Habitat Partnership, visit www.fishhabitat.org and connect on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NFHAP.
About the National Fish Habitat Partnership:
The National Fish Habitat Partnership works to conserve fish
habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state and private funding
sources to achieve the greatest impact on fish populations through
priority conservation projects. The national partnership implements the
National Fish Habitat Action Plan and supports 18 regional grassroots
partner organizations. For more information visit http://www.fishhabitat.org
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