FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gordon Helm
News Releases 2003
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ADMINISTRATION, STATE OF OREGON DEVELOPING JOINT PLAN
TO RESTORE COASTAL COHO
White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairman James L. Connaughton and Bob Lohn, Northwest Regional Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), joined Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski in Salem today to support the development of a cooperative agreement between NOAA Fisheries and the State of Oregon for the recovery of Oregon Coast Coho, a species of salmon listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Chairman Connaughton visited with the Oregon Governor to affirm the Bush Administration’s commitment to work cooperatively with the state on a plan to reach and sustain recovery of Oregon Coast Coho based on the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds, an initiative developed in 1997 by the state of Oregon. NOAA Fisheries will commit $250,000 in targeted funding this fiscal year to meet the initial technical staff and scientific needs for the plan.
“President Bush is committed to comprehensive salmon recovery. By working with our state, local and tribal partners we will achieve and sustain salmon recovery in the Northwest,” said Connaughton. “Last week in Boise, the governors of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana reiterated their support for the recovery efforts already underway in the region.”
“The State of Oregon appreciates the involvement and support of the Bush Administration in the recovery of Oregon coastal coho salmon, and we look forward to the opportunity to work together to create a recovery plan for these valuable fish,” said Kulongoski. “The funding that will be provided through NOAA Fisheries will assist in our efforts over the next several months to develop the framework for a recovery/conservation plan for Oregon coastal coho salmon.”
Prior to his meeting with the Governor in Salem, Chairman Connaughton toured a watershed restoration project on Johnson Creek near Portland. Johnson Creek, a major tributary of the Willamette River, runs 25 miles through seven jurisdictions in western Oregon and provides habitat for endangered salmon. Grassroots efforts, combined with state and federal funding, have led to improved salmon habitat in an urban watershed.
NOAA Fisheries, through the Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund, has provided over $54 million since 2000 to Oregon’s Watershed Enhancement Board for salmon recovery activities across Oregon, such as the Johnson Creek project.
The White House Council on Environmental Quality coordinates federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives. The council's Chair, James L. Connaughton, who was appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, serves as the principal environmental policy advisor to President Bush.
Fisheries, an agency of the Commerce Department's National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration, is dedicated to protecting and preserving
our nation’s living marine resources through scientific research,
management, enforcement, and the conservation of marine mammals and
other protected marine species and their habitat.
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