Fish and Aquatic Conservation
photo of flyfishing in a river
A beautiful October day along the Manistee River Michigan. Photo credit: Eric MacMillan/ USFWS

The National Fish Habitat Partnership

The National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) program is a comprehensive effort to treat the causes of fish habitat decline by maximizing the impact of limited funding for fish habitat conservation. Under NFHP, Federal, State, Tribal, and privately raised funds are leveraged through regional Fish Habitat Partnerships (FHPs) to address the nation’s biggest fish habitat challenges. FHPs are the working units of the NFHP, implementing strategically identified fish habitat conservation actions on the ground.

The mission of the NFHP program is “to protect, restore and enhance the nation's fish and aquatic communities through partnerships that foster fish habitat conservation and improve the quality of life for the American people.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is a key partner in implementing the NFHP, along with States, Tribes, other Federal agencies, conservation organizations, and industry. The Service receives annual appropriations from Congress to work with partners to achieve common fish habitat conservation goals. Under the NFHP, the Service provides technical expertise and coordination support on the local, regional, and national levels. The Service provides funding and works directly with FHPs to identify, develop, and implement fish habitat conservation projects.


Service, Partners to Provide More Than $35 Million for Fish Habitat Conservation Projects

May 11, 2020

Through the National Fish Habitat Partnership program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners are providing more than $35 million to support fish habitat conservation projects in 31 states. The Service is providing $4.3 million this year, with nongovernmental organizations, state resource agencies, and other partners contributing an additional $31.3 million. Service biologists and partners will work on funded projects 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. Anticipated benefits include more robust fish populations, better fishing, and healthier waterways. For example, projects this year include a dam removal in Indiana to benefit smallmouth bass, expansion of nursery habitat for native Razorback sucker in the Colorado River, and invasive species removal in Hawaii. A full list of funded activities can be found here.

photo of a natural weir

What is Fish Habitat?

Fish habitat refers to rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries, and other places where fish live. Healthy habitats mean healthier fish populations for the benefit of the American people.

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The National Fish Habitat Action Plan

The National Fish Habitat Action Plan is an important tool to help the Service and its partners achieve strategic conservation goals for fish habitat.

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The National Fish Habitat Partnership program involves numerous federal and non-federal partners working together to achieve common fish habitat conservation goals.

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The Service has funded and worked with partners to implement hundreds of projects across the U.S.

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photo of a man fly fishing in a stream

National Fish Habitat Partnership Contacts

Contact information for Service employees involved in the National Fish Habitat Partnership.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A few of the most commonly asked questions and answers.

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