On Wednesday, October 11, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the availability of up to $36 million through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda for fish passage projects across the nation that address outdated, unsafe or obsolete dams, culverts, levees and other barriers fragmenting our nation’s rivers and streams. Funds can be used for passage over barriers (e.g., fish ladders), but will emphasize barrier removal.
Since 2022, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has invested $73 million in 79 projects through the Service’s National Fish Passage Program. These funds are investing in our nation’s infrastructure and natural resources by reconnecting fragmented rivers, improving fish migration, and enhancing local economies.
The National Fish Passage Program, facilitated by the Service’s Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program, will prioritize projects that will:
- Maximize benefits to priority species and habitats.
- Provide sustainable fish passage.
- Leverage regional or watershed priorities for habitat restoration, fish passage or aquatic connectivity.
- Enhance community resilience to climate change, address public safety hazards and provide other benefits such as job creation or recreational fishing opportunities.
- Support or engage with disadvantaged communities.
- Coordinate on species and watershed priorities with Tribes and states.
- Be supported by partners, affected stakeholders, and the local community.
Interested parties should submit a Letter of Interest to the appropriate National Fish Passage Program regional coordinator, via email, by Nov. 17, 2023. Letters of Interest should include the project name and location, a brief description of the project objectives and benefits, the expected requested funding amount, and a statement of interest in applying for the funding opportunity. More information, including a list of National Fish Passage regional coordinators, may be found at Grants.Gov or by visiting the program’s informational website.