Fisheries & Aquaculture News

Funding from Inflation Reduction Act Will Support Columbia Basin Hatchery Facilities

The Department of Commerce and NOAA announced plans to allocate $60 million in funding to advance tribal priorities and address the impacts of climate change on Pacific salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. These funds from the Inflation Reduction Act—the largest climate investment in history—will also play a crucial role in addressing deferred maintenance and repairs at Mitchell Act-funded hatchery facilities across the Columbia River Basin.

This funding is consistent with President Biden’s September 2023 Memorandum on Restoring Healthy and Abundant Salmon, Steelhead, and Other Native Fish Populations in the Columbia River Basin and the historic December 14, 2023 agreement between the four lower Columbia River Treaty Tribes, the States of Oregon and Washington (collectively known as the six sovereigns) and the relevant agencies and departments of the United States promising to work together in partnership to restore these species in the Basin.

“This effort aligns with the US government's commitment to the Columbia Basin Restoration Initiative,” said US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The funding will prioritize tribal initiatives, building upon extensive tribal engagement efforts, to strengthen projects aimed at enhancing climate resilience for tribal fisheries and salmon recovery efforts."

This funding was first announced in June 2023 as part of the historic $3.3 billion in investments focused on ensuring America’s communities and economies are ready for and resilient to climate change. Of that $3.3 billion, an additional $240 million will support Pacific coastal salmon restoration and recovery through investment in non-Mitchell Act hatcheries, and $42 million will support Pacific salmon populations through the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund and expanded research programs to identify and prioritize restoration strategies. NOAA is also continuing work to reopen migratory pathways and restore access to healthy habitat for fish.

NOAA Fisheries worked closely with hatchery operators to identify critical deferred maintenance and repairs required for facilities. NOAA collaborated with tribal, state and federal Mitchell Act hatchery program operators to strategize the most effective allocation of funding. Together, these groups identified a range of projects focused on hatchery deferred maintenance and repair activities to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of fisheries in the region.

"This funding from the Inflation Reduction Act reaffirms our commitment to tribal and treaty rights through revitalizing the salmon, steelhead and other native fish populations within the Columbia River Basin," added Janet Coit, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. "These funds will support salmon fisheries that have long been the lifeblood of tribes along the Columbia River.”

The Mitchell Act was passed by Congress in 1938 for the conservation of salmon and steelhead fishery resources in the Columbia River Basin in light of hydroelectric, irrigation and flood control development projects across the basin. It authorized the establishment, operation and maintenance of hatchery facilities in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, as well as other fishery conservation activities. Since 1946, Congress has annually appropriated Mitchell Act funds.

Please visit NOAA’s Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law websites to learn about current and future funding opportunities.


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