Funds to be Awarded to Projects in Oregon's Salmon Stronghold Watersheds
PORTLAND, Ore., October 24, 2012 — The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced today the availability of grants through the eighth round of funding through the Oregon Governor's Fund for the Environment, with a new focus on supporting conservation in Oregon's wild salmon stronghold watersheds.
In spring 2005, the United States charged an international shipping company with violating numerous federal pollution laws. As part of the settlement, the courts ordered $2 million in community service payments to be made to NFWF to maintain a sustained granting program to benefit the rivers and streams passing through Oregon and near coastal waters. NFWF used the funds to establish the Oregon Governor's Fund for the Environment (the Fund) to receive and administer court-ordered community service payments, as well as donations and contributions from other sources, in order to maintain a sustained granting program to benefit Oregon's rivers and streams.
Since its inception, the Oregon Governor's Fund for the Environment has awarded over $2.5 million to 65 projects that have leveraged an additional $7 million in matching contributions. "Those who pollute our environment must not be permitted to profit from their crimes," stated U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall.
"The Governor's Fund for the Environment allows these proceeds, in addition to court ordered fines, to be allocated to the protection and restoration of Oregon's rivers and streams. This program is one more example of how Oregon wins when we cultivate strong federal, state and private partnerships to achieve common goals."
"Building on the actions we've taken in recent years, this round of funding will focus on restoration work in Oregon's salmon strongholds," said Jeff Trandahl, Executive Director and CEO of NFWF. "By improving habitat in the state's rivers and streams, we can have a positive impact on this important species."
For the 2013 grant round, the Fund will be focused to align with Governor Kitzhaber's priority to ensure long term conservation of the state's wild salmon strongholds, which represent some of Oregon's most productive and intact aquatic ecosystems and sustain the state's largest and most diverse runs of salmon and other native aquatic species. Oregon's seven recognized strongholds include: the Tillamook/Nehalem, Illinois, North Umpqua, Sandy/Clackamas, Lower Deschutes, North Fork John Day, and Lower Grand Ronde (Joseph Creek, Minam River, and Wenaha River) watersheds. The strong salmon populations found in these systems anchor ongoing regional recovery efforts and support a variety of recreational, commercial, and Tribal fisheries.
"Oregon is known for our environmental leadership and stewardship," said Governor Kitzhaber. "This fund helps us to advance those values with grants that support good, family-wage jobs across Oregon, including in stronghold watersheds, where investments in habitat protection and restoration can amplify results for fish recovery and other wildlife."
"The Governor's Fund has become a major tool in our collective effort to restore essential habitats and secure healthy ecosystems in Oregon," said Robyn Thorson, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Pacific Region. "Governor Kitzhaber's guidance to target salmon strongholds is the right choice at the right time. These iconic fish are essential to the economy and culture of the Pacific Northwest and their recovery symbolizes the amazing vitality of this region."
Grant proposals requesting up to $75,000 in grant funds are being invited to support two types of projects in and across the state's seven salmon strongholds: 1) on-the-ground habitat improvements in strongholds; and 2) programmatic activities that seek to prevent the continued loss and degradation of habitats. All projects must address the key limiting factors or threats that have been identified in existing watershed plans or assessments as bottlenecks to salmonid abundance. Approximately $300,000 in grant funds is anticipated to be awarded through this grant round.
Pre-proposals should be submitted by November 28, 2012 through NFWF's online application system, Easygrants. Pre-proposals will be evaluated and ranked, and the strongest projects will be invited to submit full proposals due on January 31, 2013. Full proposal applicants will be notified of grant awards by April 2013, with funds available for projects shortly thereafter. Approved projects should be completed within two years. Eligible applicants include non-profit conservation organizations, watershed councils, soil and water conservation districts, tribes, schools, local, state and federal government agencies, and other special districts.
Applicants should log onto NFWF's Oregon Governor's Fund for the Environment program webpage at www.nfwf.org/orgovfund to review proposal criteria and requirements and to submit a pre-proposal.