The National Fish Habitat Partnership
America’s fisheries are facing a conservation crisis. Nearly 40% of North American fishes, 700 species in total, are imperiled. More than two-thirds of these are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Habitat alteration is the principle factor in this conservation crisis and is the motivation for the development of the National Fish Habitat Partnership.
NFHAP is a national investment strategy to maximize the impact of conservation dollars on the ground. Under NFHAP, Federal, State, Tribal, and privately-raised funds are leveraged through regional partnerships to address the nation’s biggest fish habitat challenges. For anglers, conservation groups, and industry leaders, NFHAP has become an unprecedented rallying point for those committed to conserving America’s fisheries. This is the most comprehensive effort ever attempted to treat the causes of fish habitat decline, not just the symptoms. Since 2006, the NFHAP partners have:
- Assessed the condition of all fish habitats in the U.S.
- Prepared a Status of Fish Habitats in the U.S. report.
- Established 17 Fish Habitat Partnerships in priority areas.
- Funded hundreds of projects across the U.S. to protect, restore, and enhance priority habitats.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Role
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a key partner in implementing the National Fish Habitat Partnership, along with States, Tribes, other Federal agencies, conservation organizations, and industry. The Service is a natural collaborator with NFHAP because habitat protection and restoration are central elements of the Service’s mission. Through Fish Habitat Partnerships (FHPs), organized around important aquatic habitat and species, Service employees provide NFHAP with leadership and technical expertise, from local restoration projects to regional FHP development and national administration.