Senator Murray Provides $90 Million in Federal Funding for Salmon Recovery

Jun 29 2007

Funding will go toward state, local, and tribal recovery programs

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has provided $90 million in funding for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF) for salmon restoration projects throughout the Pacific Coast region. Historically, Washington state has received the largest portion of PCSRF funding given to any state in the Pacific Coast region. Pacific Coast and Columbia River Indian Tribes in Washington State also receive funding through the PCSRF. The funds will be used to support state, local, and tribal programs that help improve salmon habitats and restore the salmon population to healthy, harvestable levels. The funding was included in the 2008 Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill. Senator Murray is a member of the Appropriations Committee. 

"In our state, we all know the economic, historic, cultural, and recreational importance of a sustainable salmon population," said Senator Murray. "This funding will be used to support a wide array of projects that have one common goal: restoring and protecting our salmon habitats. The Pacific Coastal Salmon 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."

"I am proud of the way Washingtonians have taken the initiative and are leading the nation in 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. "The Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund provides us with the resources we need to turn these plans into actions that produce real results for our wild salmon.   Washington is a good investment - our project sponsors have matched PCSRF money with 50 cents on the dollar overall. "  

“This funding is vital to support conservation and recovery of salmon on the West Coast,” said David Weekes, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Washington Chapter. “In Washington state it has funded projects to restore habitat on hundreds of miles of streams, and to remove barriers so that salmon can migrate freely from rivers to the sea and back again. We’re fortunate to have Sen. Murray and other congressional leaders who recognize the significant role that salmon play in the Pacific Northwest, and who act to protect them.”

The PCSRF restores endangered and listed stocks of Pacific salmon through the improvement and expansion of salmon habitats. It also supplements existing state, tribal and local programs that foster partnerships in salmon and steelhead recovery and conservation.

In Washington state, the PCSRF works through of 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 $125 million for salmon recovery efforts for Washington state alone over the past 5 years. 

The CJS Appropriations bill passed the full Appropriations Committee today and will now move to the Senate floor where it will be considered by the full Senate.