(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray was presented with the Receiving the Esther Steraniw Memorial Awardannual “Esther Stefaniw Memorial Award” from the Upper Columbia River Salmon Recovery Board (UCRSRB). This award is given in honor of Esther Stefaniw, a founding member of the UCSRB and Chelan County Commissioner, to recognize individuals that have made significant contributions to the restoration of viable and sustainable populations of salmon, steelhead, and other at-risk species through collaborative, economically-sensitive efforts, and wise resource management of the Upper Columbia region.

“I’m deeply honored to receive this award because in Washington state, salmon are a part of our heritage,” said Senator Murray. “That’s why I’m committed to ensuring that salmon recovery programs have the resources and tools they need to address this issue that is so important to our culture and economy.”

Last year, Senator Murray led a successful bipartisan effort to save the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund from potentially devastating cuts, securing $80 million in funding for the program, a portion of which went to the Washington State Salmon Recovery Board to improve and restore salmon populations. The funding was included in the fiscal year 2010 Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill.

"We deeply appreciate Sen. Murray's leadership on salmon recovery issues," said Okanogan City Commissioner and UCRSRB Board Member Bud Hover, who presented the award. "Her track record of success in securing funding for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund has ensured on the ground results in salmon recovery efforts and added jobs during this difficult economic time."