Washington State allocates $81.5 million for salmon recovery
October 3, 2023
By By ANA staff
The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Partnership are investing US$81.5 million in recovering at-risk salmon species.
In a press release on Sept. 18, the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office announced the award of 150 grants in 29 counties toward barrier removals for migrating salmon, tree-planting to shade rivers and improvement of stream habitat.
“Of that, 66 grants totalling $53.7 million will target projects in and around Puget Sound, Washington state’s biggest estuary,” the press release reads.
In 1991, the United States government declared the first salmon in the Pacific Northwest endangered and over the next few years, more species of salmon were included in the list.
Washington State governor, Jay Inslee said the recovery projects are important. “They also provide many other benefits. When we clean up our rivers, we not only help salmon, we reduce flooding, help our communities adapt to climate change and preserve jobs that rely on healthy salmon and natural resources.”
The funding was from the state Legislature through the Salmon Recovery account and the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) fund—which are supported by the sale of state bonds—and from the federal government through the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.
Although recovery efforts during the past 25 years have helped with the recovery of some species such as Hood Canal summer chum and Snake River fall Chinook others, such as Puget Sound Chinook and Upper Columbia River spring Chinook remain in crisis.
“Salmon are the foundation and the future of our shared Pacific Northwest identity,” said Jeff Breckel, chair of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. “We know what it takes to recover salmon, but the challenges are outpacing our progress. We must stay vigilant and continue to make these important investments.”
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