Who We Are:
At the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we are a group of conservation-minded biologists, engineers, scientists, and organizers who work together with partners to create a better future for our rivers and communities.
What We Do:
The Service and our partners work collaboratively to identify and remove, replace, or upgrade aging and obsolete infrastructure to improve aquatic habitat fish passage and help safeguard communities. Where appropriate, removing barriers and replacing undersized culverts improves public safety while also reducing long-term maintenance costs and liability to the owners. Rivers also provide sediment to form and sustain coastal marshes, which provide a buffer for communities against storms. By strengthening natural defenses and removing or replacing aging infrastructure, we can ensure a future for fish and wildlife and help human communities better withstand and rebound from intense storms and flooding.
In the last decade, the Service has worked with partners to remove more than 660 barriers to fish passage in the Northeast, restoring access to nearly 6,500 miles of river and stream habitat and more than 28,000 acres of lakes, ponds, and wetlands. These efforts have added more than $1.5 billion to the economy, through increased tourism and recreation, improved water quality, and protection of people and property.
Why We Do It:
In the U.S. Northeast, there are more than half a million miles of rivers and streams with more than 200,000 barriers impacting more than just fish and wildlife. Hurricanes and other intense storms have highlighted the risks to human safety and property posed by aging infrastructure, when dams and culverts fail because they cannot handle floodwaters from storms. Healthy river systems not only benefit fish and wildlife, they are essential to the health and livelihood of every American, providing clean drinking water, recreational and commercial fishing opportunities, and jobs in related industries.