Federal Funds Now Available to Help Remove Fish Passage Barriers and Open Salmon Habitat

June 14, 2022

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included $77 million in funding to remove dams, culverts, and other obstacles to salmon

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, encouraged eligible states, counties, municipalities and Tribes to apply for a total of $77 million in grant opportunities to fund fish barrier removal projects made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) opened the application process for two fish habitat restoration grant programs with one focused on Indian Tribes. 

“Today’s announcement will deliver $77 million in competitive grants for projects to open up fish migration pathways and boost salmon survival,” said Senator Cantwell. “These NOAA grants will support state, local and Tribal projects to remove barriers such as small culverts, dikes, deadbeat dams and other blockages that prevent fish from accessing spawning grounds. Grants may also be used to support project planning and design, a key need for local communities and Tribes that are working on developing new habitat restoration solutions from the ground up.”

The two programs are part of a $2.855 billion investment in salmon habitat recovery championed by Senator Cantwell in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

NOAA Restoring Fish Passage through Barrier Removal: Up to $65 million is available for projects that restore migratory paths and habitat for fish. Partners will use the funds to remove small deadbeat dams, salmon-blocking culverts, and other instream barriers. These grants will also fund project design and development, to help support underserved communities identify, plan and execute fish passage projects. The application deadline is August 15, 2022.

Restoring Tribal Priority Fish Passage through Barrier Removal: Up to $12 million in funding is available to support Indian Tribes, Tribal commissions, and Tribal consortia to restore migratory pathways for fish, and access to healthy habitat for species important to Indian Tribes and Treaty Rights. Grants may also be used for capacity building and project development, to enable more Tribes to participate in habitat restoration programs. The application deadline is August 29, 2022.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the program is HERE.