The project will remove a pair of culverts and replace them with a bridge at the mouth of Smith Creek near its junction with the Naselle River in Willapa Bay, Washington. The current culverts block access to 8.7 miles of freshwater stream spawning habitat. Their removal will restore a diverse habitat that supports salmon and Pacific lamprey. Other species that will benefit from this barrier removal include coastal cutthroat trout, federally threatened green sturgeon, and birds that rely on healthy fish populations for food like bald eagle and peregrine falcon. Willapa Bay is an important ecosystem that supports a wide variety of fish and wildlife species. The replacement bridge will be built to withstand predicted sea level rise, protecting the infrastructure of the community into the future.

Project Quick Facts:

Project Status

In Development


WA, Pacific County

NFPP Project Funding


Restoration Techniques

Culvert Replacement


8.7 Stream Miles Reopened, 140 Acres Reopened

Partner Project Lead

Pacific Conservation District

The National Fish Passage Program: Leaders in Building Bridges and Fostering Connections

The National Fish Passage Program is a national leader connecting watersheds and people. The program has decades of experience implementing infrastructure projects with partners.  Fish passage project proposals can be initiated by any individual, organization, government, or agency. However, proposals must be submitted and completed in cooperation with a Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office. (Please note that fish passage fish passage
Fish passage is the ability of fish or other aquatic species to move freely throughout their life to find food, reproduce, and complete their natural migration cycles. Millions of barriers to fish passage across the country are fragmenting habitat and leading to species declines. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Fish Passage Program is working to reconnect watersheds to benefit both wildlife and people.

Learn more about fish passage
projects being used for federal or state compensatory mitigation or required by existing federal or state regulatory programs are not eligible for funding through the National Fish Passage Program.) 


200 Million Dollar Investment in Rivers, Wildlife, and Communities

Clean free-flowing waterways are vital to wildlife, people, and ecosystems. But across the country, millions of barriers fragment rivers, block fish migration, and put communities at higher risk to flooding. The  Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is a once-in-a-generation investment in the nation’s infrastructure and economic competitiveness. We were directly appropriated $455 million over five years in BIL funds for programs related to the President’s America the Beautiful initiative.

Learn more about Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
 , signed in November 2021, included $200 million for restoring fish and wildlife passage by removing in-stream barriers and providing technical assistance under the National Fish Passage Program. 



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...