FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2011
Ashley Spratt 612/713 5314
Maureen Gallagher 660/562-1008
Midwest Fish Habitat Benefits from $1.2 Million in Funding
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will provide more than $548,000 to support fish habitat projects in the Midwest under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP). More than $640,000 in partner contributions, nearly $1.2 million in total, will go toward restoring and enhancing stream, lake and coastal habitat, as well as improving recreational fishing and helping endangered species.
The funding is provided for priority projects identified through Fish Habitat Partnerships established under the NFHAP. The partnerships strategically direct funding and other resources to habitat improvement projects offering the highest long-term conservation returns for aquatic species.
Aquatic ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changes in climate. ealthy habitats can help lessen the impact of climate change by providing refugia and buffering the impact of increases in water temperature and extreme fluctuations in flow. Many of the projects will improve stream flow, remove barriers or acquire scientific information needed for long-term protection against the effects of climate change.
“The local partnerships cultivated through Fish Habitat Partnerships in the Midwest allow for more efficient and effective fish passage and habitat improvement projects for our native and game fish species,” said Tom Melius, Regional Director of the Service in the Midwest. “The National Fish Habitat Action Plan guides landscape level conservation for our fisheries resources.”
More than 40 percent of U.S. fish populations are currently considered declining, half of the waters in the U.S. are 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.
By helping stem these declines NFHAP projects provide fishing opportunities for the public, and enhance economies and quality of life in local communities.
Highlights from this year’s funding for NFHAP Partnership projects in the Midwest include:
Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership (GLBFHP)
Butternut Creek Stream Restoration and Dam Removal (MI) - $67, 143 in federal funds and $84,250 in partner funds to reopen 13 miles to fish passage and restore instream habitat.
Ellias Cove Restoration (MI) - $22,857 in federal funds and $5,000 in partner funds to restore instream and shoreline habitat with native coastal wetland plantings.
Driftless Area Restoration Effort
Richmond Spring Fish Passage Improvement (IA) - $42,857 in federal funds to remove or bypass four fish passage barriers and reconnect 16 miles for fish passage.
Yellow River Ford Removal and Low-Water Crossing Installation (IA) - $57,857 in federal funds and $70,000 in partner funds to reopen 69 miles for fish passage.
Brush Creek Habitat Restoration and Stream Bank Stabilization (IA) - $53,377 in federal funds and $87,923 in partner funds to restore in-stream habitat, wetlands and riparian habitat.
Maquoketa River Iowa Fish Habitat Improvement (IA) - $33,052 in federal funds and $114,500 in partner funds to enhance 4.4 instream miles and riparian habitat.
Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership (MGLP)
Strategic fish habitat conservation directed through GIS modeling - $68,571 in federal funds and $62,900 in partner funds to support habitat assessment work in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership (ORBFHP)
North Manchester Dam and Liberty Mills Dam Removal on Eel River (IN) - $57,143 in federal funds and $56,400 in partner funds to reopen 190 miles of the Eel River, and conduct four population assessments and four habitat assessments.
West Milton Dam Removal Feasibility Study on Stillwater River (OH) - $14,286 in federal funds and $25,000 in partner funds to assess dam removal prospect within Great Miami Watershed.
For a complete listing of funded projects, please visit: www.fws.gov/fisheries/fwco/nfhap.
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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