NOAA is announcing two funding opportunities for fish passage projects that will remove in-stream barriers, including one funding opportunity focused on Indian tribes. This funding is available under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act). It presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for NOAA to substantially expand its efforts for making an impact for fisheries, protected resources, and coastal communities.
Restoring Fish Passage through Barrier Removal
Up to $65 million in funding is available through the NOAA Restoring Fish Passage through Barrier Removal Notice of Funding Opportunity. This funding will support transformational projects that reopen migratory pathways and restore access to healthy habitat for fish around the country.
This funding will support the locally led removal of dams and other in-stream barriers. Projects selected through this opportunity will support sustainable fisheries and contribute to the recovery of threatened and endangered species. They will also provide community and economic benefits.
We will prioritize projects that were developed with inclusive practices and incorporate meaningful strategies to engage a diverse range of community groups, including underserved and underrepresented communities.
NOAA will accept proposals with a federal funding request of between $1 million and $15 million total from non-federal partners over the award period. Applications are due by August 15, 2022.
Restoring Priority Tribal Fish Passage through Barrier Removal
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allows up to 15 percent of fish passage funds to be reserved for Indian tribes. Therefore, NOAA is concurrently releasing the Restoring Tribal Priority Fish Passage through Barrier Removal Notice of Funding Opportunity for up to $12 million in funding for fish passage and tribal capacity building.
This funding will support Indian tribes, tribal commissions, and tribal consortia in building tribal organizational capacity. It will also support implementing projects that reopen migratory pathways and restore access to healthy habitat for tribally important species while also enhancing community resilience to climate hazards by removing or improving aging infrastructure. Indian tribes are eligible to apply to both funding opportunities.
This funding opportunity was informed by tribal feedback on how NOAA should implement the fish passage provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. NOAA will accept proposals between $300,000 and $5 million from Indian tribes and tribal commission or consortia partners. Applications are due by August 29, 2022.
Fish Passage and NOAA
Every year, millions of fish migrate to their spawning and rearing habitats to reproduce. Some fish need to swim thousands of miles through oceans and rivers to reach their destinations. They are often blocked from completing their journey by barriers like dams and culverts. When fish can’t reach their habitat, they can’t reproduce and maintain or grow their populations. As a result, many fish populations have declined.
NOAA works to reopen these migratory pathways, restoring access to healthy habitat for fish. Our efforts help recover threatened and endangered migratory fish and support the sustainability of commercial and recreational fisheries. They can also eliminate or lessen public safety hazards, improve climate resilience, and provide opportunities for recreation, like fishing and boating.
NOAA’s Office of Habitat Conservation has a long history conducting habitat restoration efforts with large-scale competitive funding opportunities and expert technical assistance. Through its Community-based Restoration Program, we have partnered with more than 2,600 organizations to take on more than 2,200 projects since 1996. These efforts have restored more than 93,000 acres of habitat and opened up more than 4,400 miles of streams and rivers to fish migration.