News Release

July 16, 2012

$9.33 Million in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Partnership Funds Awarded for Aquatic Habitat Projects

Media Contacts:
Kim Betton, (703) 358-2081

More than $187,000 to go for projects in Hawaii and Oregon


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will provide $3.3 million to fund 90 projects that will help protect, restore and enhance stream, lake and coastal habitat in 29 states. Five projects awarded in the Pacific Region total more than $187,000. This funding will be matched by contributions by non-governmental organizations, state resource agencies, and other partners.

The cost-shared projects address the priorities of 18 Fish Habitat Partnerships (FHPs) recognized under the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP). FHPs are the primary work units of the NFHP and are made up of partners from various state, federal, tribal, NGOs, and industry partners that share overlapping conservation goals and objectives.

"The Fish Habitat Partnerships have been a valuable resource for restoring and protecting fish habitat across the nation," said Director Dan Ashe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "They bring together partners who voluntarily commit to improving, restoring and protecting aquatic habitat. We are grateful for the support that helps with conservation and restoration initiatives."

Since the NFHP was initiated in 2006, the Service's Fisheries program has provided $16 million for 341 Fish Habitat Partnership related projects in 46 states, matched by $39.7 million from partners. The Partnership is an unprecedented attempt to address an unseen crisis for fish nationwide - loss and degradation of aquatic habitat. The partnership effort is prominent in making a difference through voluntary, non-regulatory conservation actions. In addition, a subset of 41 projects will target climate change adaptation in habitats that support species vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

"The Service is pleased to work side-by-side with our partners to improve habitat for fish." said Robyn Thorson, Pacific Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "These projects represent the mutual priorities of broad locally based partnerships".

"The work and growth of these partnerships has been incredible," said Kelly Hepler, chairman, National Fish Habitat Board. "The on-the-ground work of our partnerships is at a critical stage for aquatic communities across the country. We will work together with our partners to ensure these projects will truly make a difference as our past projects have shown."

In the Pacific Region, the following NFHP Partnership projects are being funded:

Hawaii (Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership):
* $45,000 in Service funds and $20,000 in partner funds to restore damaged anchialine pools at Kaloko Honokohau Natural Historic Park that were affected by the March 2011 Tsunami.
* $20,000 in Service funds and $142,360 in partner funds for vulnerability assessment of Hawaiian streams. This is a climate change-related project.
* $25,000 in Service funds and $27,000 in partner funds to restore stream and estuary habitat for native Hawaiian fish and shrimp species.

Oregon (Western Native Trout Initiative):
* $27,000 in Service funds and $401,850 in partner funds for Mabel Creek resident cutthroat trout passage and habitat restoration on the Youngs River.
* $70,134 in Service funds and $1,293,000 in partner funds for genetic analysis of Great Basin Redband Trout. This is a climate change-related project.

For the complete listing of 2012 funded projects please visit http://www.fishhabitat.org/images/2012_FWS_FHP/2012_fhp_projects.pdf

For more information on the National Fish Habitat Partnership visit www.fishhabitat.org and connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NFHAP.

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.