Habitat degradation and loss have contributed to the decline of native species throughout the Great Lakes. The coastal waters and watersheds of the Great Lakes are comprised of a variety of wetland and riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
habitat types essential to animals and plants, including many rare, threatened and endangered species. The Aquatic Habitat Restoration Program provides technical and financial assistance to protect and improve habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms. We partner with federal, state, and local agencies, non-governmental organizations, private groups, and individuals to identify, develop, and implement habitat restoration projects on private and public lands in the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario watersheds, and throughout New York State.

The habitat program focuses on improvement projects that benefit species of conservation and management concern and include federal threatened and endangered species, interjurisdictional fisheries, and other significant species. Projects include removing obsolete dams, restoring degraded streams, and planting stream-side vegetation to improve habitat function. Assessment and monitoring are critical components of the program. The office collects biological community and habitat data before and after restoration initiatives to provide assessments of community health and restoration success. We help create schoolyard habitat projects through construction of natural habitat areas on school grounds throughout Western New York using native plants to benefit wildlife. This component of the program provides an interactive opportunity to teach children about nature and how they can help take care of it.

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Juvenile Northern Pike in aquarium at Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery, South Dakota
The Fish and Aquatic Conservation program leads aquatic conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are committed to tackling the nation’s highest priority aquatic conservation and recreational challenges to conserve, restore, and enhance fisheries for future generations.
A person is walks through a large wide culvert that passes under a gravel road. A small river runs through the culvert.
Across the country, millions of barriers are fragmenting rivers, blocking fish migration, and putting communities at higher risk to flooding. Improving fish passage is one of the most effective ways to help conserve vulnerable species while building safer infrastructure for communities and...
A view of the Sacramento River. Its flat, blue water is lined by bright green trees and vegetation. Blue skies are overhead.
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 to maximize the impact of conservation dollars on the ground. Funds are leveraged through regional partnerships to...