The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will provide $3.3 million to fund 90 projects that will help protect, restore and enhance stream, lake and coastal habitat in 29 states. This funding will be matched by $9.33 million in contributions by non-governmental organizations, state resource agencies, and other partners.
The cost-shared projects address the priorities of 18 Fish Habitat Partnerships (FHPs) recognized under the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP). FHPs are the primary work units of the NFHP and are made up of partners from various state, federal, tribal, NGOs, and industry partners that share overlapping conservation goals and objectives. For the complete listing of 2012 funded projects please visit http://www.fishhabitat.org/images/2012_FWS_FHP/2012_fhp_projects.pdf
“The Fish Habitat Partnerships have been a valuable resource for restoring and protecting fish habitat across the nation,” said Director Dan Ashe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “They bring together partners who voluntarily commit to improving, restoring and protecting aquatic habitat. We are grateful for the support that helps with conservation and restoration initiatives.”
Since the NFHP was initiated in 2006, the Service’s Fisheries program has provided $16 million for 341 Fish Habitat Partnership related projects in 46 states, matched by $39.7 million from partners. The Partnership is an unprecedented attempt to address an unseen crisis for fish nationwide – loss and degradation of aquatic habitat. The partnership effort is prominent in making a difference through voluntary, non-regulatory conservation actions. In addition, a subset of 41 projects will target climate change adaptation in habitats that support species vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
“The work and growth of these partnerships has been incredible,” said Kelly Hepler, chairman, National Fish Habitat Board. “The on-the-ground work of our partnerships is at a critical stage for aquatic communities across the country. We will work together with our partners to ensure these projects will truly make a difference as our past projects have shown.”