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NOAA Awards Nearly $40 Million in Grants to Restore Salmon Habitat in Pacific Northwest

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, September 18, 2009

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

NOAA Awards Nearly $40 Million in Grants to Restore Salmon Habitat in Pacific Northwest

The Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded $39.7 million in grants to Washington and Oregon for state-sponsored salmon-restoration projects and other efforts to restore salmon and steelhead that are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Washington’s Recreation and Conservation office will receive $26.5 million and Oregon’s Watershed Enhancement Board will receive $13.2 million from NOAA’s Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF). The money will be used to fund a competitive process to choose projects to restore salmon and steelhead populations in the states.

“For nearly a decade, the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund has supported locally sponsored, on-the-ground projects that provide immediate help to imperiled salmon where it is needed most," said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. “Today's grants invest in habitat restoration that will help improve conditions for salmon and boost the local economy.”

Since 2000, the PCSRF has provided money for states and tribes to invest in important habitat restoration; fish passage improvements; research, monitoring, and evaluation; and education projects. To date, the states have used their own matching funds—typically one-third of the federal contribution—to supplement these investments in thousands of projects, ranging from single culvert replacements to large habitat restoration projects covering hundreds of acres.

Some of the projects funded under today’s grants will be aimed at maintaining fish populations required by tribal treaty fishing rights or Native American subsistence fishing.

There are 16 federally protected populations of salmon and steelhead within the two states. Many are in the Columbia River basin and are common to both states.

Last month, NOAA awarded over $2 million to Idaho’s Office of Species Conservation for Idaho projects under the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund 2009 competition. The funds will help restore salmon and steelhead populations that are listed as threatened or endangered.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit http://www.noaa.gov.