(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $90 million in funding for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF) for salmon restoration projects throughout the Pacific Coast region in a major Senate spending bill. The funds will be used to support state, local, and tribal efforts to restore endangered and listed stocks of Pacific salmon through the improvement and expansion of salmon habitats. It also supplements existing state, local, and tribal programs that foster partnerships in salmon and steelhead recovery and conservation. The funding was included in the 2009 Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill. Senator Murray is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.
"We in Washington state recognize that the health of our salmon population and the health of our state's economy are intertwined, so this funding is critically important right now," said Senator Murray. "This funding will be used to support a wide array of project with one goal: restoring and protecting our salmon habitats. The Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund does more than just maintain our rivers, streams, and salmon. It maintains our Northwest way of life and I am proud to continue to provide federal support for this vital program."
“Securing funding for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund is critical to the collaborative development of salmon recovery plans and I am grateful for the work of Senator Murray, who has been a long-standing voice of support in Washington, D.C. for these efforts," said Governor Chris Gregoire. "This funding provides us with the resources we need to move from the planning process into restoration actions that produce real results for salmon.”
In Washington state, the PCSRF works through the Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) which provides grants on a competitive basis to a variety of habitat protection and restoration programs. Since 2000 the SFRB has awarded grants to 695 different projects in Washington state. Projects have included fixing or removing obstacles to fish migration, opening up streams for salmon habitat, planting trees and shrubs along streams to provide ideal habitat conditions, decreasing the amount of soil flowing into streams, changing river flows and opening miles of transition areas for salmon headed to and from the sea.
Senator Murray has been a steadfast supporter of salmon recovery and has secured more than $140 million for salmon recovery efforts for Washington state alone over the past 5 years. The CJS Appropriations bill passed the full Senate Appropriations Committee today and will now move to the Senate floor.