$27.4 Million for Fish Habitat Conservation in 2024

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners announce more than $27.4 million for fish habitat conservation in 2024.

Washington, DC – Through the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) (https://fishhabitat.org), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and partners are providing more than $27.4 million to support 91 fish habitat conservation projects in 29 states. The USFWS is providing $5.9 million this year, with non-governmental organizations, state resource agencies, and other partners contributing an additional $21.5 million. This represents a 3.6:1 leveraged funding match for NFHP funding.

These projects empower and boost locally led conservation efforts that restore and reconnect habitats to create more robust fish populations, better fishing, and healthier waterways. Twenty individual Fish Habitat Partnerships across the nation make up our national efforts and work with a variety of partners, including private landowners, farmers and ranchers, Tribes, non-profit organizations, state, federal, and local government agencies, and many others to achieve fish habitat conservation goals that protect, restore and enhance habitat conditions locally for fish.  This year, nine of the projects are being conducted in partnership with Tribes, with close to ten percent of NFHP funds going to these projects.

In 2024, project types include removing barriers to fish passage, reducing erosion from farm and ranchlands, restoring stream banks, combating the impacts of drought, and conducting monitoring and assessment work to identify conservation needs for fish and their habitats. This year’s projects meet local priorities that span from restoring urban streams to reconnecting tidal wetlands, in states across the country from Hawaii to Vermont. Projects target and address limiting factors to improve habitat, water quality, and benefit our nation’s fisheries resources. This funding will also support the coordination of individual Fish Habitat Partnerships and the operations of the National Fish Habitat Board to help establish national priorities under NFHP.

“Conservation is a team sport, and no program embodies that quite as well as National Fish Habitat Partnership and our network of partnerships across the country,” said Robert Boyles, Director of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Chair of the National Fish Habitat Board. “Our nation’s rivers and waterbodies connect us, and NFHP projects take actions to directly improve aquatic resources and fish populations for all. The implementation of these projects announced today is critical in meeting our objectives to protect, restore, and enhance fish habitat.”

View the full list of 2024 funded projects.

NFHP uses a nationally focused aquatic conservation strategy to maximize the reach of limited fish habitat conservation dollars. Under NFHP, federal, state, tribal, and privately raised funds are leveraged through regional Fish Habitat Partnerships to address the nation’s biggest fish habitat challenges. The USFWS is a key partner in implementing the partnership, providing leadership and technical expertise on the local, regional, and national levels, as well as financial assistance directly to partners for on-the-ground conservation projects. Since 2006, the USFWS has provided over $62.4 million to conservation projects which leveraged at a 4:1 ratio to provide over $320 million in funding support for fish habitat conservation projects that improve angling and recreational opportunities across the nation. NFHP assembles the collective expertise of federal, state, and non-governmental organizations to identify and prioritize conservation work to achieve significant benefits for fish and other aquatic resources for the American people.

About the National Fish Habitat Partnership

Since 2006, NFHP has supported over 1,500 projects benefiting fish habitat throughout all 50 states. This effort works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state, tribal, and private funding resources to achieve the greatest effect on fish populations through priority conservation projects of 20 Fish Habitat Partnerships that are organized around key fish species, geographic areas, or important fish habitats. In 2020, NFHP was recognized by Congress as part of the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act. NFHP guidance and policies are developed in conjunction with our partnerships and National Fish Habitat Board. For more information, visit: htps://fishhabitat.org/.