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$36 Million in Funding for Coastal Habitat Restoration Projects to Benefit Fish

NOAA is awarding $36 million for more than 40 coastal habitat restoration projects across the United States. These projects will restore up to 16,000 acres of habitat, and open nearly 400 stream miles for fish passage. They will benefit fish species like threatened populations of steelhead trout and salmon.

Fish populations, especially migratory fish like salmon and steelhead, are limited by a lack of habitat. We are working with partners to restore habitat for these fish by removing barriers to fish passage, reconnecting tidal flow, and improving in-stream conditions. These projects will also remove marine debris from fish habitat, and restore coral and oyster reefs.

In the Northeast Region, projects will benefit species like river herring by removing barriers to fish passage and improving in-stream conditions. We will address actions recommended in the recovery plans for Endangered Species Act-listed species.

In the Southeast Region, we will restore threatened coral populations and marshes and remove marine debris.

In the Northwest Region, we will help restore salmon habitat by reconnecting wetlands and stream channels to tidal flow. We will also address the impacts of marine debris on coastal habitat and wildlife.

In the Southwest Region, we will restore habitat for salmon and steelhead by removing barriers to fish passage and improving in-stream conditions. These projects address actions recommended in the recovery plans for Endangered Species Act-listed species. Projects in Hawai’i will also remove marine debris.

In the Great Lakes, we will help restore nearly 1,000 acres of marsh and wetland habitat, and open more than 34 stream miles for fish passage. These projects will benefit more than 40 species of fish.

Our investment in habitat is part of a long-term effort to rebuild fisheries, many of which have declined from habitat loss, over-fishing, and climate change. Recent successes show that restoring habitat is a way not only to stop the decline of fish populations, but also to regrow them to previous levels.

Posted October 22, 2013