$106M in Federal Funds Earmarked for West Coast, Alaska Salmon Recovery

Image: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Federal funds totaling over $106 million for 16 West Coast and Alaska state and tribal salmon recovery programs is being made available under the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF) through the Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The funds, including $34.4 million under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and $7.5 million under the Inflation Reduction Act, are earmarked to support recovery and conservation of Pacific salmon and steelhead in Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

The Biden administration’s Aug. 17 announcement includes over $2 billion for fish passage investments nationwide.

The programs and projects are specifically to benefit Central California Coast coho salmon, Sacramento River winter run Chinook salmon, Southern Resident killer whales and Cook Inlet beluga whales.

NOAA officials said that in addition programs and projects recommended for funding will aid in the recovery of 28 salmon and steelhead species listed under the Endangered Special Act (ESA), plus salmon and steelhead species needed for Native subsistence and tribal treaty fishing rights.

“The diligent work carried out by NOAA Fisheries and partners will help ensure the funding reaches regions and fish populations where it is needed most,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a prepared statement.

The PCSRF funds, NOAA officials said, will aid state and tribal programs that have demonstrated success in implementing high priority and effective projects benefiting salmon populations and their habitats, by targeting investments in communities, expanding partnerships and continuing to build on climate and economic resilience.

In Alaska, $6.8 million is earmarked for Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund, $2 million for the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Consortia and $1.4 million for the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program is to receive $18.6 million and $2.6 million for the Klamath River Inter-Tribal Fish and Water Commission.

Idaho’s Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund Program, administered by the Idaho Governor’s Office of Species Conservation gets $9 million. Another $575,000 is earmarked for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, and the $441,000 is earmarked for the Shoshone Bannock Tribes.

Four projects in Oregon include $20.2 million for the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, $5.3 million for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, $2.7 million for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, and $500,000 for the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

Washington allocations include $25.5 million to the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board, $6.3 million to the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, $621,000 to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and $3.61 million for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe.

Since the program’s inception in 2000, the PCSRF has provided over $1.7 billion to implement over 15,000 salmon recovery projects.