NOAA Awards More than $800,000 for Local Restoration Projects

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded American Rivers, a national organization devoted to preserving and restoring rivers, an $800,355 grant to renew its joint effort with NOAA to restore streams and rivers that benefit species that migrate between fresh and salt water, officials announced on Oct. 12.

"American Rivers has been at the forefront of creating strong community initiatives that restore coastal habitat for fish that spawn in freshwater and migrate to the ocean," said Conrad C. Lautenbacher, NOAA administrator and under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere.

The grant funds awarded to American Rivers will support stream barrier removal projects that help restore river ecosystems, enhance public safety and have clear and identifiable benefits to migratory fish populations in the four target regions. Local organizations may apply for part of this grant money by visiting These river restoration projects will also boost communities' natural resiliency to the effects of climate change and extreme weather events such as flooding and storms.

"Rivers are at the heart of our communities," said Rebecca R. Wodder, president of American Rivers. "Through our partnership with NOAA, we have been able to provide communities with the technical and financial assistance they need to turn rivers from afterthoughts to assets, and promote awareness and appreciation of healthy rivers as both an economic and environmental benefit."

For the past six years, the collaboration between NOAA and American Rivers has resulted in more than $2 million being invested in almost 100 projects that create passage for migratory fish by removing dams or culverts, building rock ramps, fish ladders and other ways for fish to migrate upstream. NOAA's Open Rivers Initiative provides the funding for these projects.

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