Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray of Washington state have announced the allocation of $2.7 million in funding for two habitat restoration projects from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's National Fish Passage Program. The funding was secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The Smith Creek Tidal Fish Barrier and Estuary Habitat Restoration Project will receive $1,050,000 to remove two culverts and replace them with a bridge to restore 8.7 miles of freshwater stream spawning habitat and 140 acres of critical habitat. The Lower Toppenish Creek Fish Passage Restoration project will receive $1,615,400 to remove two diversion dams and a non-functional fish screen and replace them with fish passage structures to restore 100 miles of stream and 450 acres of wetland habitat.
Senators Cantwell and Murray have long been champions of protecting and restoring salmon populations. They secured a historic $2.85 billion investment in salmon and ecosystem restoration programs, including $400 million for a new community-based restoration program focused on removing fish passage barriers in the infrastructure law.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced $35 million to support 39 projects across 22 states, with the National Fish Passage Program receiving $200 million over five years from the infrastructure law.