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Fish Habitats Improved With $3 Million Funding

US - The US Fish and Wildlife Service will provide more than $3.4 million to support 84 fish habitat projects in 38 states across the nation under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP).

An additional $9.8 million in partner contributions, over $13.2 million in total, will go toward restoring and enhancing stream, lake and coastal habitat, as well as improving recreational fishing and helping endangered species.

The funding is provided for priority projects identified through seventeen Fish Habitat Partnerships established under the NFHAP. The partnerships strategically direct funding and other resources to habitat improvement projects offering the highest long-term conservation returns for aquatic species.

Aquatic ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changes in climate. Healthy habitats can help fish and other aquatic life to withstand flows and temperatures that have been altered due to climate change. Forty of the projects, supported by two million dollars of Service funds, will improve stream flow, remove barriers or acquire scientific information needed for long-term protection against the effects of climate change.

The Service is pleased to work side-by-side with our partners to improve habitat for fish. These projects represent the mutual priorities of broad locally-based partnerships, said Dan Ashe, Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

More than 40 per cent of US fish populations are currently considered declining, half of the waters in the US are impaired, and fragmented conservation efforts are not reversing these declines.

Besides climate change, principal factors contributing to these declines include: habitat destruction and fragmentation, toxic substances, invasive species, harmful algal blooms and altered thermal regimes.

By helping stem these declines NFHAP projects provide fishing opportunities for the public, and enhance economies and quality of life in local communities.

For a complete listing of funded projects, please visit:

www.fws.gov/fisheries/fwco/nfhap.

the Fish Site Editor

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