Washoe County, Nev. – A fish passage project on the Pyramid Lake Reservation will receive $8.2 million in fiscal year 2022 funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The National Fish Passage Program, facilitated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, supports aquatic ecosystem restoration projects and restores free-flowing waters, allowing for enhanced fish migration and protecting communities from flooding.
Today’s news locally amplifies a Department of the Interior national announcement of 40 fish passage projects in 23 states and Puerto Rico that will receive a total of nearly $38 million in fiscal year 2022 funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funds will bolster efforts to address outdated, unsafe or obsolete dams, culverts, levees and other barriers fragmenting our nation’s rivers and streams, which will help restore fish passages and aquatic connectivity.
“Across the country, millions of barriers block fish migration and put communities at higher risk of flooding,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in our nation’s rivers, streams and communities and help restore habitat connectivity for aquatic species around the country.
A number of the projects receiving funding nationally will directly address issues related to and serve disadvantaged communities, while also spanning the nation geographically and addressing a wide array of diverse aquatic resource issues.
“Aquatic restoration projects funding by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are important examples of how nature-based projects can enable ecosystems and communities to be more resilient to climate change,” said Service Director Martha Williams. “In addition to providing benefits for fish and aquatic species, the National Fish Passage Program’s work to restore degraded and fragmented aquatic habitats decreases public safety hazards, improves infrastructure resilience, and creates jobs, stimulating the local economy.”
The funding for Nevada will support recovery of endangered Cui-ui and threatened Lahontan Cutthroat Trout at the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe managed Numana Dam.
The National Fish Passage Program has decades of proven experience implementing infrastructure projects with partners to improve the health of the nation’s waterways, reconnect rivers, improve climate resilience, and enhance local economies. The program provides financial, engineering and planning assistance to communities, Tribes and landowners to help remove barriers and restore rivers for the benefit of fish and people.
Since 1999, the program has worked with over 2,000 local communities, states, Tribes and private landowners to remove or bypass 3,202 barriers to fish passage and reopen access to 57,736 miles of upstream habitat and 193,783 acres of wetland habitat for fish and other animals.
For more information about the National Fish Passage Program and the BIL-funded projects, please visit the Service’s Fish Passage Program website.
Enhancing wildlife corridors and habitat connectivity, including fish passage, is an early focus of the Biden-Harris administration’s America the Beautiful initiative. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Monday’s launch of a separate $1 billion America the Beautiful Challenge that will leverage federal conservation and restoration investments with private and philanthropic contributions to accelerate locally led land, water and wildlife conservation efforts across the country.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit https://www.fws.gov/about/region/pacific-southwest or connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.