NOAA is announcing two funding opportunities for fish passage, including one funding opportunity focused on tribes. This significant funding is available under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. Projects selected through these opportunities will help support sustainable fisheries, recover threatened and endangered migratory fish, and strengthen the resilience of coastal and Great Lakes communities and tribes.
Through these two competitions, we will prioritize projects that were developed with inclusive practices and incorporate meaningful strategies to engage a diverse range of community groups, including tribes.
Restoring Fish Passage through Barrier Removal
Nearly $175 million in funding is available through the Restoring Fish Passage through Barrier Removal funding opportunity. Projects selected through this opportunity will reopen migratory pathways and restore access to healthy habitat for fish around the country.
This funding will support the locally led removal of dams and other in-stream barriers. Selected projects will sustain our nation’s fisheries and contribute to the recovery of threatened and endangered species. They may also provide community and economic benefits, such as jobs and climate resilience.
NOAA will accept proposals with a federal funding request of between $1 million and $20 million from non-federal partners. Applications are due by October 16, 2023.
Restoring Priority Tribal Fish Passage through Barrier Removal
Concurrently, nearly $85 million in funding is available for fish passage and tribal capacity building through the Restoring Tribal Priority Fish Passage through Barrier Removal funding opportunity. This funding will support U.S. federally recognized tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, and tribal organizations in implementing on-the-ground fish passage work and in building tribal organizational capacity.
Selected projects will reopen migratory pathways and restore access to healthy habitat for tribally important species. They may also enhance community climate resilience by removing or improving aging infrastructure.
NOAA will accept proposals between $300,000 and $12 million from tribes and from organizations that represent tribes through formal legal agreements. Applications are due by November 8, 2023.
Tribes are eligible to apply to both funding opportunities.
Fish Passage and NOAA
Every year, millions of fish migrate to their spawning and rearing habitats to reproduce. Some fish need to swim thousands of miles through oceans and rivers to reach their destinations. They are often blocked from completing their journey by barriers like dams and culverts. When fish can’t reach their habitat, they can’t reproduce and maintain or grow their populations. As a result, many fish populations have declined.
NOAA works to reopen these migratory pathways, restoring access to healthy habitat for fish. Our efforts help recover threatened and endangered migratory fish and support the sustainability of commercial and recreational fisheries. They can also eliminate or reduce public safety hazards, improve climate resilience, and provide opportunities for recreation such as fishing and boating.
NOAA’s Office of Habitat Conservation has a long history conducting habitat restoration efforts with large-scale competitive funding opportunities and expert technical assistance through our Community-based Restoration Program. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act provide a historic opportunity for us to continue supporting fisheries, protected resources, and coastal communities. To date, we have awarded more than $480 million for 109 projects across the country through this funding.