Fish and Aquatic Conservation


Partners

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.


atlantic coastal fish habitat partnership logo

ATLANTIC COASTAL FISH HABITAT PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized March, 2009

The geographic extent of the ACFHP stretches from Maine to the Florida Keys, including all or part of 16 States. It covers 476,357 square miles, including land areas inland to the headwaters of coastal rivers, and ocean areas outward to the continental slope. The ACFHP plans to work throughout the region, but will focus on estuarine environments and place less emphasis on coastal headwaters and offshore marine ecosystems.

The Atlantic coast is home to some of the most populous and fastest growing areas of the United States. Aquatic habitats of the Atlantic coast are being heavily impacted by avariety of human disturbances.

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california fish passage forum logo

CALIFORNIA FISH PASSAGE FORUM

Board recognized March, 2010

The mission of the California Fish Passage Forum is to protect and restore listed anadromous salmonid species, and other aquatic organisms, in California by promoting collaboration among public and private sectors for fish passage improvement projects and programs. Species of concern include (but are not limited to): coho and chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and Pacific lamprey.

The goal of the Forum is to restore connectivity of freshwater habitats throughout the historic range of anadromous fish.

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desert fish habitat partnership logo

DESERT FISH HABITAT PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized March, 2009

Desert fish have declined across these arid lands as a result of habitat loss and alteration and the widespread introduction and establishment of nonnative aquatic species. Despite numerous federal and state laws, regulations, and policies to protect and recover native desert fishes and their habitats, most of them remain imperiled.Current habitat conditions and threats require specific management actions and focused consideration of desert fishes if these species and their habitats are to be protected and remain viable into the future.

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DRIFTLESS AREA RESTORATION EFFORT

Board recognized October, 2007

The Driftless Area is a 24,000 square-mile area that encompasses portions of southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, southwest Wisconsin and northwest Illinois bypassed by the last continental glacier. The region has a high concentration of spring-fed coldwater streams and is recognized for its high diversity of plants, animals, and habitats. The Driftless Area Restoration Effort (DARE) partnership formed to address habitat degradation, loss, and alteration that are the primary factors contributing to the decline of fish populations in this unique region.

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eastern brook trout joint venture a fish habitat partnership logo

EASTERN BROOK TROUT VENTURE

Board recognized October, 2007

In 2005, in recognition of the need to address regional and range-wide threats to brook trout, a group of public and private entities formed the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (EBTJV) to halt the decline of brook trout and restore fishable populations of this iconic species. The EBTJV directs locally-driven efforts that build partnerships to improve fish habitat, working to ensure healthy, fishable brook trout populations throughout their historic eastern United States range.

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fishers and farmers partnership for the upper mississippi river basin logo

FISHERS & FARMERS PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized March, 2010

Our vision rests on a belief that the combined experience, knowledge and skills of fishers and farmers can measurably improve the health of land and streams in the altered landscape of the Upper Mississippi River Basin. To advance this purpose, rural landowners voluntarily develop and implement science=based solutions to local water quality issues, with the support of conservationists. As landowners achieve their own goals for conservation and sustainable prosperity, successful practices will be demonstrated and effects measured, lessons will be learned and shared throughout the basin, and ultimately a globally significant landscape will be renewed.

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great lakes basin fish habitat partnership logo

GREAT LAKES BASIN FISH HABITAT PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized October, 2009

The international Great Lakes Basin is a unique and biologically diverse region containing the largest surface freshwater system in the world, with sport and commercial fisheries valued at over $7 billion annually. The fishery and aquatic resources of the Great Lakes have suffered detrimental effects of invasive species, loss of biodiversity, poor water quality, contaminants, loss or degradation of coastal wetlands, land use changes, and other factors.

The Basin includes all of Michigan; portions of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota in the U.S. and Ontario and Quebec in Canada. It covers 295,710 square miles, including 94,250 square miles of surface water and 201,460 square miles of land in the U.S. and Canada. The Great Lakes and connecting waters have over 11,000 miles of coastline.

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great plains fish habitat partnership logo

GREAT PLAINS FISH HABITAT PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized October, 2009

Streams of the Great Plains are home to a wide diversity of aquatic fauna adapted to harsh changes in temperature and water availability. Low human population density has enabled many Great Plains streams to remain relatively unimpaired, yet aquatic species have experienced a slow but steady decline in abundance and diversity during the 20th Century and continue to face challenges that threaten their viability.

Existing habitat loss are attributed to numerous factors including the conversion of native prairie to land uses for agriculture, energy development, and urbanization, which are reflected in degraded water quality, water quantity, fragmentation, and isolation of rivers from their floodplains. Climate change and invasive species are also factors affecting Great Plains stream habitat.

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hawaii fish habitat partnership logo

HAWAII FISH HABITAT PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized March, 2009

The Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership is composed of a diverse group of partners that have the capacity to plan and implement a technically sound statewide aquatic habitat restoration program. In addition to state and federal resource agencies, our partners include local watershed coalitions, non-profit organizations, industry groups and private landowners who are interested in increasing effective stewardship of stream, estuarine, coral reef and coastal marine habitats. The partnership is supporting on-the-ground restoration including removal of barriers to native fish and invertebrate migration, controlling invasive riparian vegetation, improving water quality in coastal areas and contributing to educational support for native Hawaiian student interns.

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kenai peninsula fish habitat partnership logo

KENAI PENINSULA FISH HABITAT PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized January, 2010

The Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership formed to foster and create effective collaborations to maintain healthy fish, healthy people, healthy habitat, and healthy economies within the Kenai Peninsula Borough. The geographic area covered by the Partnership is approximately 25,000 square miles, encompasses 14 major watersheds, and contains over 20,000 miles of stream habitat as well as more than 350,000 acres of wetland habitat.

The Kenai Peninsula is one of Alaska’s premier destinations for both residents and out of state visitors and is known for its world-class sport fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities.

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Mat-Su-Basin Salmon Habitat parttnership logo

MATANUSKA SUSITNA BASIN SALMON HABITAT PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized October, 2007

The Matanuska-Susitna Basin, or Mat-Su, covers 24,500 square miles in southcentral Alaska, roughly the combined size of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. The basin supports thriving populations of chinook, coho, sockeye, pink and chum salmon as well as world-class rainbow trout, char, and grayling, making it one of the country’s premier sportfishing and wildlife viewing destinations. Salmon and other fish are at the heart of Alaskan ecosystems, economy, and culture.

The basin is also one of the fastest growing regions in the country, presenting unique challenges and opportunities to ensure thriving fish, healthy habitats, and vital communities in one region. The Matanuska-Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership (Partnership) formed to address increasing impacts on salmon from human use and development pressures in the Mat-Su basin and ensure that opportunities for growth and conservation go hand-in-hand.

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midwest glacial lakes partnership logo

MIDWEST GLACIAL LAKES PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized March, 2009

Glacial lakes are natural lakes that were formed by glacial activity and are an abundant and recognizable feature of the landscape over much of the upper Midwest. For example, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin each boast of more than 10,000 natural lakes over 10-acres in size within their respective boundaries. The Prairie Pothole Region of the county is an important waterfowl production area for North America and includes portions of eastern Dakotas, western Minnesota, and northwestern Iowa. Clearly, these glacial lakes are a regionally and nationally significant economic and cultural natural resource and yet they are increasingly threatened by a number of human-driven factors affecting sustainable fish and wildlife habitats. These drivers are not universally distributed across the region, but rather most intensely affect glacial lakes on a gradient generally oriented from south to north.

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ohio river basin fish habitat partnership logo

OHIO RIVER BASIN FISH HABITAT PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized October, 2009

The Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership was formed to protect, restore, and enhance priority habitat for fish and mussels in the watersheds of the Ohio River Basin. We pursue this mission for the benefit of the public, but what brings us to the table is as diverse as the basin itself. Whether it is sport fish, mussels, imperiled fish, water quality, or one of many other drivers, what bonds us is the Basin and our desire to work together to protect, restore, and enhance her aquatic resources.

The partnership encompasses the entire 981 miles of the Ohio River mainstem (the second largest river in the U.S. as measured by annual discharge) and 143,550 square miles of the watershed. A decision was made to exclude the Tennessee-Cumberland sub-basin to limit overlap with SARP.

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photo of a pacific lamprey

PACIFIC LAMPREY PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized October, 2009

The Pacific Lamprey Fish Habitat Partnership is a collaboration of Native American tribes, federal, state, municipal and local agencies working to conserve Pacific Lamprey throughout its range in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. The goal of the partnership is to achieve long-term persistence of Pacific Lamprey and their habitats, and support traditional tribal cultural use of Pacific Lamprey throughout their historic range in the United States. The intent of the partnership is to achieve this goal, where ecologically and economically feasible, by maintaining viable populations and their habitats in areas where they exist currently, restoring populations and their habitats where they are extirpated or at risk of extirpation, and doing so in a manner that addresses the importance of lamprey to tribal peoples. The partnership envisions a future where threats to Pacific Lamprey and their habitats are reduced, and the historic geographic range and ecological role of Pacific Lamprey are restored to the greatest extent possible.

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pacific marine and estuarine fish habitat partnership logo

PACIFIC MARINE AND ESTUARINE FISH HABITAT PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized January, 2012

The Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership’s (PMEP) mission is to protect, enhance, and restore ecological habitats within estuaries and nearshore marine environments to sustain healthy native fish communities and support sustainable human uses that depend on healthy fish populations.

The PMEP originated in 2009 when representatives from Oregon, Washington and California agencies and non-governmental entities met to discuss the need to protect and restore habitat for fish species that use estuaries and nearshore marine areas.

Vision - provide for healthy native fish populations in functional, resilient estuarine and nearshore marine ecosystems in California, Oregon, and Washington.

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reservoir fisheries habitat partnership logo

RESERVOIR FISHERIES HABITAT PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized October, 2009

Reservoirs are inextricable parts of our natural landscapes; they cannot be isolated or dismissed in conservation management. Constructed to meet a variety of human needs, they impact almost every major river system in the United States, affecting to various degrees habitat for fish and other aquatic species and, in turn, affected by the health of the watershed in which they reside. Reservoirs, their associated watersheds, and their downstream flows constitute interdependent, functioning systems. Effective management of these reservoir systems – maintaining their ecological function and biological health – is essential to the conservation of our nation’s aquatic resources and their habitats. It requires that we minimize the adverse impacts of reservoirs on their watersheds (and watersheds upon reservoirs) and maximize their utility for aquatic habitat.

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southeast alaska fish habitat partnership logo

SOUTHEAST ALASKA FISH HABITAT PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized October, 2007

The Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership works to foster cooperative fish habitat conservation in freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems across the southern panhandle of Alaska including the dynamic watersheds and waterways that make up the Alexander Archipelago. Covering nearly 17 million acres of this region is the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States and a key producer of salmon. The Partnership’s mission is to support cooperative fish habitat conservation, restoration, and management across the region with consideration of economic, social, and cultural interests of local communities in its efforts. The partnership’s three priority conservation goals are to 1) protect fish habitat in freshwater systems, estuaries and nearshore-marine areas in Southeast, 2) maintain water quality and quantity in those areas, and 3) restore and enhance fragmented and degraded fish habitats in impacted areas. The Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership was recognized by the Board in March 2014.

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southeast aquatic resources partnership logo

SOUTHEAST AQUATIC RESOURCES PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized October, 2007

Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) was initiated in 2001 to address the myriad issues related to the management of aquatic resources in the southeastern United States, which includes about 26,000 miles of species-rich aquatic shoreline and over 70 major river basins. The area faces significant threats to its aquatic resources, as illustrated by the fact that 34% of North American fish species and 90% of the native mussel species designated as endangered, threatened, or of special concern are found in the Southeast.

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southwest alaska salmon habitat partnership logo

SOUTHWEST ALASKA SALMON HABITAT PARTNERSHIP

Board recognized October, 2008

The Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership is a made up of local communities, Native organizations, subsistence users, anglers, hunters, commercial fishing interests, lodge owners, hunting and fishing guides, tourism interests, non-profit organizations, federal, state, and local agencies and corporations and foundations working cooperatively to conserve fish, wildlife and habitat and perpetuate the uses they support through voluntary habitat conservation in Southwest Alaska.

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western native trout initiative logo

WESTERN NATIVE TROUT INITIATIVE

Board recognized February, 2008

Trout are important as an “indicator species” of a watershed. When a watershed is in trouble, the trout are the first to die. Species like the greenback cutthroat, gila, and westslope cutthroat trout thrived in Western watersheds until their habitats were altered because of roads, dams, agriculture, and logging. Human introduction of non-native trout species, such as rainbow, brown and brook trout put further pressure on native species by out-competing them for food and by eating native fry. Conservation of Western native trout and their habitats is critical in maintaining their cultural, scientific and recreational value.

All native trout species populations are of concern. Four native trout species have been petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Six species are listed as threatened, and one species is listed as endangered. Some species are extinct in certain areas but not in others. For example, no bull trout have been caught in California since the 1970s.

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