News Releases

(Washington, D.C.)  Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that she secured $65 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF) in the Fiscal Year 2015 Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill.  This represents an increase of $15 million above President Obama’s proposed FY15 budget.  The funds will be used to support state, local, and tribal programs that help improve salmon habitats.

“Continued strong investments in sustainable salmon populations are critically important to the economic, cultural, and recreational identity of Washington state, and they’re also an important part of our federal obligation to meet tribal treaty-protected fishing rights,” said Senator Murray.  “I’m proud to work with Chairwoman Mikulski and secure this funding commitment for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, and I am committed to supporting projects that simultaneously support our economy and protect salmon habitats.”

In past years, PCSRF funds have gone to projects supported by non-profits and local, state, and tribal governments and has been used for projects such as:

  • Land conservation on the Entiat River to protect critical spawning and rearing habitat;
  • Improvements to the Duwamish River Estuary through debris removal and native plantings in order to expand habitat; and
  • Log jams on the Coweeman River to improve habitat and increase reproductive success of multiple species.

Senator Murray was also instrumental in increasing the funding level for Pacific Salmon under the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Protected Species funding account.  She included $60 million for this program, an increase of $500,000 over the Fiscal Year 2014 enacted level.  This funding is critical for NMFS to retain staff on the ground in Washington state in order to conduct Endangered Species Act consultations and work on the permitting process.  Without this funding, Washington’s economy could suffer as reviews and permitting conducted under the ESA would be delayed.