Unsupported Browser Detected

Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

Biden-Harris Administration makes $260 million available for new fish passage projects as part of Investing in America agenda

July 31, 2023

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act will facilitate fish conservation efforts

Onlookers watch construction of the removal of Brownsville Dam on the Calapooia River in Oregon in 2007. Onlookers watch construction of the removal of Brownsville Dam on the Calapooia River in Oregon in 2007. Credit: NOAA Fisheries.

Today, NOAA Fisheries is announcing two funding opportunities totaling $260 million through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to support new fish passage projects, which will not only help protect and restore migrating fish and their habitats, but yield important community and economic benefits.

“Fish are essential to the culture, economy, and way of life of so many communities and tribes. Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we’re going to help local and tribal communities restore passage and build capacity to increase the number of migratory fish across the country,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Beyond fish recovery, these investments will also create good jobs and bolster climate resilience across communities.”

Every year, millions of fish attempt to migrate to their spawning and rearing habitats to reproduce. They are often blocked from completing their journey by human-made barriers, such as dams and culverts. When fish cannot reach their habitat, they cannot reproduce and maintain or grow their populations. Fish passage projects re-open these pathways and are important for the protection and restoration of migrating fish and their habitats. 

In addition to species recovery and rebuilding fish populations, fish passage projects yield community and economic benefits. They can also eliminate or lessen public safety hazards, improve climate resilience, decrease flooding, and reduce costs for operations and maintenance.

The two funding opportunities announced today are:

“NOAA Fisheries restores, opens, and maintains habitat for fish by removing or finding ways around barriers to fish passage and improving in-stream conditions,” said Janet Coit, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “This valuable work helps recover threatened and endangered migratory fish, and supports the sustainability of economically important commercial and recreational fisheries.”

These competitions will prioritize projects that demonstrate a broad base of stakeholder and community support. Projects developed with inclusive practices and that incorporate meaningful strategies to engage a diverse range of community groups, including tribes and underserved communities, will also be prioritized. 

This announcement includes two of several funding opportunities under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act that NOAA Fisheries will release this year. It follows on the announcement recommending nearly $105 million in funding for 36 fish passage projects in December 2022, tribal consultation conducted in March 2023, and the announcement of NOAA’s Inflation Reduction Framework in June 2023.

Application submissions

The application deadline for the Restoring Fish Passage through Barrier Removal funding opportunity is October 16, 2023.

The deadline for applications for the Restoring Tribal Priority Fish Passage funding opportunity is November 8, 2023.

Additional information about applying for funding is available on the NOAA Fisheries website.


Media contact

Katie Wagner, nmfs.pa@noaa.gov, (443) 458-8480