What We Do

Fish and other aquatic species are declining at alarming rates across the globe and one of the biggest threats is habitat loss. The National Fish Habitat Partnership is a comprehensive effort to treat the causes of fish habitat decline, not just the symptoms.

The Partnership is a national investment strategy designed to maximize the impact of conservation dollars on the ground. Funds are leveraged through regional partnerships to address the nation’s biggest fish habitat challenges and projects are identified and completed through a network of 20 regional Fish Habitat Partnerships. These partnerships leverage federal, state, tribal, and private resources to achieve the greatest impacts on conservation.

Since its inception in 2006, the National Fish Habitat Partnership has funded over 1,100 conservation projects. Since 2017, the USFWS has provided over $23 million to conservation projects, while leveraging over $167 million in match, to fish habitat conservation projects that improve angling and recreational opportunities from Hawaii to Maine. In 2020, America’s Conservation Enhancement Act codified the National Fish Habitat Partnership program into law, helping to ensure this collaborative, partnership-driven, conservation program will continue to protect, restore, and enhance the Nation’s fish habitat into the future.

National Fish Habitat Partnership announces more than $53.2 million for fish habitat conservation in 2022.

The National Fish Habitat recently announced the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners are providing more than $53.2 million to support 78 fish habitat conservation projects across 37 states. The USFWS is providing $5.4 million this year, with non-governmental organizations, state resource agencies, and other partners contributing an additional $47.6 million. These projects represent a 9-to-1 leveraged funding match for federal funding with partnership project funding from other sources. These projects will boost and empower locally-led efforts to restore stream banks, remove barriers to fish passage, reduce erosion from farm and ranchlands, and conduct monitoring and assessments to identify conservation needs for fish and their habitats. Anticipated benefits include more robust fish populations, better fishing, and healthier waterways.

The Pointe-au-Chien project uses recycled oyster shells to restore habitat and protect a cultural heritage. The project is a part of the Louisiana Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership and the National Fish Habitat Partnership program.

How the National Fish Habitat Partnership program works.

The work is voluntary.
The National Fish Habitat Partnership program takes a voluntary, non-regulatory, approach to address the nation’s fish habitat conservation challenges.

Funding is leveraged to maximize results.
Under the National Fish Habitat Partnership, federal, state, tribal, and privately raised funds are leveraged to address the nation’s biggest fish habitat challenges. In 2019, limited federal funding from the Service was leveraged by more than 3 to 1 with funds from other partners.

Conservation gains grow the economy and protect against climate.
The network of Fish Habitat Partnerships drive local job creation through direct funding investments and build more resilient infrastructure that can better withstand climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

Learn more about climate change
. Often, the same barriers that hurt fish, like undersized culverts in road crossings, can also harm communities. Undersized culverts can block fish passage and prevent them from being able to move freely to find food, shelter, and reproduce. They can also cause water to back up behind the crossing during storms, often leading to culvert failure and severe road damage.

Fish Habitat Partnership projects restore healthy fish populations, ecosystems, and the communities for the future!

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