News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced that she secured $34 million for salmon recovery, conservation and land acquisition programs in Washington state as part of the Senate fiscal year 2003 Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary bill. The full Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to take up the bill on Thursday.

"I am very pleased to have secured $34 million for critical salmon recovery, conservation and land acquisition activities in our state," Senator Murray said. "The tremendous natural resources of Washington state contribute both to our quality of life and to our regional economy. I will continue to work to protect our environment and natural resources for future generations."

The Senate fiscal year 2003 Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary bill includes the following:

Washington State Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery - $30.05 million
The state Salmon Recovery Funding Board distributes these funds to meritorious salmon recovery projects throughout Washington. The total for this account is $95 million, which also includes funding for Alaska, Oregon, California and Native American tribes.

The Northwest Straits Commission - $1.2 million
The Northwest Straits Commission is a grassroots effort to restore and protect marine resources in Northern Puget Sound, with involvement from county, state, federal and tribal governments, non-profit organizations and volunteers. This is a $500,000 increase over last year's funding level in this bill.

Maury Island - $1.8 million
This money will be used to purchase 300 acres of rural, coastal land on Maury Island, which is currently threatened by gravel extraction activities. The total cost to purchase the land is $20 million. King County and the State of Washington have already raised $7 million and are seeking additional grant funding.

Island County - $600,000
This funding will allow Island County to purchase the 379 acre Deer Lagoon property on Whidbey Island. The appropriation will fund needed the purchase of undeveloped wetland property which provides habitat for wildlife, including 170 species of resident and migratory birds. Island County plans to protect the land and create a park for public enjoyment and recreation.

Kitsap County - $300,000
These funds will allow Kitsap County to purchase 20 acres of waterfront along Hood Canal. Laughlin Cove is ideal for a waterfront park and a future campsite. The forested site includes 1,200 feet of beachfront and has stunning views of the Olympics. This appropriation complements the $500,000 included in last year's final CJS bill for Kitsap County.