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NOAA News Releases 2005
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Four projects chosen in Washington and Oregon

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today that it has awarded the conservation organization American Rivers a $700,000 grant to restore migratory fish to coastal streams and rivers around the country. The organizations will continue their activities to identify and fund promising restoration efforts in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and California – and will expand the program to include the Pacific Northwest for the first time.

Four projects in Oregon and Washington will be funded, opening barriers to fish migration in the Stillaguamish, Yakima, John Day, and Columbia basins.

“Expanding our joint restoration efforts into the Pacific Northwest demonstrates both NOAA and American Rivers’ commitment to restoring fisheries habitat nationwide,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “These habitat restoration efforts fit into our model of ecosystem-based management, and promote local stewardship of the habitats that sustain our nation’s fishery resources.”

“We are delighted that we can expand on our successful collaboration,” said Rebecca R. Wodder, president of American Rivers. “When we contribute to a river restoration project, we are making an investment in a healthier stream or river for future generations to enjoy.”

Since 2001, American Rivers and the NOAA Restoration Center have partnered to remove dams, culverts, and other obstructions in streams and rivers that block salmon, striped bass, American shad, and other species that migrate between fresh and salt water. The two organizations distributed more than $1.1 million to help remove 24 unwanted dams, bypass four dams that will remain in place, replace three culverts, and complete 18 feasibility studies for future work.

Twice a year for the next two years, NOAA and American Rivers will call for new proposals for dam removals and fish passage projects in the target regions. To be eligible, applicants must secure non-federal matching funds and detail how their proposed project will benefit migratory fish species.

NOAA and American Rivers have already obligated almost $300,000 of the $700,000 for 14 projects.


  • Lower Currier Creek Fish Passage & Habitat Restoration
    Location: tributary of the Yakima River, near Ellensburg, Wash.
    Action: Removal of a diversion dam and associated culverts. Project is part of a larger basin-wide effort to convert ditch & dam irrigation methods to piped delivery in order to improve efficiency and benefit fish passage and survival.
    Habitat: 1.1 miles
    Benefit: Spring Chinook & Summer Steelhead
  • Fish Creek Fish Passage
    Location: tributary of Stillaguamish River, Arlington, Wash.
    Action: Replacement of two existing four-foot wide pipes with a new bottomless-arch culvert. Fish will have clear passage to Puget Sound.
    Habitat: 6.5 miles
    Benefit: Chum and Coho
  • Oregon
    Endersby Cutoff Culvert Removal
    Location: Eight-mile Creek, tributary of Columbia River, near The Dalles, Oregon
    Action: Replacement of an existing culvert with a larger open-bottom arch featuring a natural streambed, allowing fish access to cooler habitat during hot summers.
    Habitat: 15 miles
    Benefit: Mid-Columbia Steelhead and Pacific Lamprey
  • Butte Creek Culvert Replacement
    Location: tributary of John Day River, Fossil, Oregon
    Action: Replacement of an existing undersized culvert with a bottomless pipe design featuring a natural streambed with suitable gradient.
    Habitat: 8.25 miles
    Benefit: Summer Steelhead

The nation’s leading river organization, American Rivers gives a national voice to a growing movement of civic groups dedicated to protecting and restoring their hometown rivers and streams. In addition to its partnership with NOAA, American Rivers provides a broad range of technical assistance and advice to communities considering or planning the removal of unwanted dams.

The NOAA Restoration Center Community-based Restoration Program is a financial and technical assistance program that promotes strong partnerships at the national, regional and local level to restore fisheries habitat. NOAA CRP works with organizations and government to support locally-driven habitat restoration projects in marine, estuarine and riparian areas. NOAA CRP funds on-the-ground habitat restoration projects that (1) offer educational and social benefits for citizens and their communities, and (2) provide long-term ecological benefits for fishery resources. Since 1996, more than 900 projects in 26 states have been implemented using NOAA funding and leveraged funding from national and regional habitat restoration partners.

Each year, NOAA awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific, and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 35 years.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

On the web:


Community-based Restoration Program:

American Rivers: