— USFWS Support: An Investment in the Future
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was directly appropriated $455 million over five years in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds for programs related to the President’s America the Beautiful initiative. These funds will help address and restore ecosystems to provide long-lasting benefits to the American people.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment in the nation’s infrastructure and economic competitiveness.
The law, signed by President Biden on Nov. 15, 2021, supports the work of the Service and its conservation partners and helps local, state and Tribal communities tackle the climate crisis while advancing environmental justice and boosting local economies.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) will receive $30.6 billion over five years in direct funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Service Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Focus Areas
From the sage-brush steppe to the Delaware River, the Service has five areas of focus across the country for significant projects funded under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
- Klamath Basin Restoration Program: Includes enhancing captive rearing of Endangered Species Act-listed sucker species at the Klamath Falls National Fish Hatchery, addressing water quality and water quantity issues throughout the basin, and supporting projects that will help improve conditions for waterfowl and salmon and other native fish species throughout the basin. The Service is working closely with Klamath Basin stakeholders on its Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-related efforts.
- Sagebrush Ecosystem: Builds on an existing collaborative effort with public and private partners to conserve the ecosystem of the American West and the nationally significant biological, cultural and economic resources it supports. Working across 13 western states and multiple jurisdictions, the partnership will use leading-edge science and a Strategic Habitat Conservation approach to identify the most pressing threats to a sustainable sagebrush ecosystem, such as and wildfire, and will invest in tangible, measurable actions to address those threats in the face of a changing climate.
- Delaware River Basin Restoration: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will provide competitive matching grants for habitat conservation to state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and other eligible entities in the Delaware River Basin in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The Delaware River Watershed Conservation Collaborative includes more than 40 partner agencies and organizations. Since 2018, the fund has awarded $26.6 million to 123 projects, which generated $46 million in match, for a total conservation impact of $72.6 million. The program will set priorities for advancing green infrastructure in the Delaware River watershed to guide strategic investment of $26 million (over five years) in infrastructure funding that will be available in this region.
- Lake Tahoe restoration: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will provide important capacity to control aquatic invasive species for the benefit of Lahontan cutthroat trout and other native species. The trout is a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act and is a recovery priority for the Service, Washoe Tribe, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, and other federal and non-federal partners in the Lake Tahoe basin.
- National Fish Passage Program: The program works to restore degraded and fragmented aquatic habitats decreases public safety hazards and improves infrastructure resilience by reducing flood risks, removing obsolete dams, and improving water delivery for local agriculture irrigation districts. In turn, this work creates construction, engineering and other jobs, stimulating the local economy.
- Oil, Gas and Mineral Management: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides long-term funding to plug orphan oil and gas wells on national wildlife refuges and reclaim those sites to eliminate environmental and public safety hazards. An orphan well is one for which there is no viable operator of record and therefore no longer a party responsible for the well’s maintenance. The process of restoring the refuge lands degraded by the presence of such wells, pipelines and other related infrastructure may take several years to complete with help from partnering agencies.
The Implementation of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Spend Plan provides more information.