Fish and Aquatic Conservation

Frequently Asked Questions

Surveying restoration on 2008 10 Waters to Watch's Williams Run, PA. Credit: USFWS
Surveying restoration on 2008 10 Waters to Watch's Williams Run, PA. Photo: USFWS

How Do I Get Involved?

If you wish to receive NFHAP News via email, please subscribe to the National Fish Habitat Action Plan News list, which currently has over 1,700 users.

Find out if a Fish Habitat Partnership is active in your area. If so, your field office or refuge can propose projects that align with the Partnership’s strategic priorities. If a Fish Habitat Partnership is under development in your area, you could provide data to help it assess the condition of local aquatic resources or identify strategic priorities for the Partnership.

If there is no Fish Habitat Partnership in your area, you could help to start one. Contact your Regional Coordinator for additional information.

How do I start a Fish Habitat Partnership?

Fish Habitat Partnerships must meet certain criteria to be recognized by the National Fish Habitat Board. Anyone interested in establishing a Fish Habitat Partnership (FHP) should read and understand the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and the Guidance for Establishing Fish Habitat Partnerships. If you have questions, you can contact the staff of the National Fish Habitat Board by e-mailing

Extensive efforts are underway to recruit the full range of partner organizations that share in the “community of interest” around which Fish Habitat Partnerships are formed, including non-traditional conservation partners, such as businesses, landowners, and local governments. Prospective Fish Habitat Partnerships should consult with neighboring or overlapping FHPs to clarify their respective roles, priorities, and their geographic scope.

How do I apply for funding?

The Fish and Wildlife Service Manual describes the general requirements, eligibility criteria, and administrative procedures to guide the use of Service funds to implement projects and provide Federal assistance for the National Fish Habitat Action Plan.

Service Regions have considerable flexibility for soliciting and identifying projects. However, all projects must be entered in FONS to be considered for funding. Only projects that address priorities of the Fish Habitat Partnerships will be selected. Any Service Field Office, program, or other appropriate partner can submit fish habitat projects for funding consideration. In general, the annual timeline for identifying and prioritizing projects is shown below. The actual timing of events may vary depending on the appropriations process.



The Director:

  • allocates the available project funding among Fish Habitat Partnerships consistent with the goals and strategies of the National Fish Habitat Board

  • issues guidance for project selection


Each Fish Habitat Partnership:

  • prioritizes projects consistent with its strategic plan

  • submits its project list to the Assistant Regional Director-Fisheries in the designated lead Region for the Fish Habitat Partnership


Assistant Regional Directors-Fisheries:

  • rank projects with consideration of Fish Habitat Partnership priorities and specified criteria

  • submit projects through the Regional Directors to the Director


A national-level project review group comprised of Service staff and Board representatives:

  • reviews Regional project lists

  • makes recommendations to the Director and to the Board


The Director:

  • selects final projects for funding that are consistent with the goals and strategies of the National Fish Habitat Board

  • notifies Regional Directors of project selection


The Director:

  • allocates funds to Regional Directors to implement approved projects


Funding will not all come from USFWS appropriations.  Leveraging with our partners (private and public) is very important. Consider working through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation or other funding entities. Seek out other novel funding sources, such as the Department of Defense or corporate partnerships.


NFHAP logo

Last updated: September 1, 2015