NFWF Announces $1 Million in Grants to Bring Native Fish Populations Back to U.S. Rivers

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 20, 2017) –The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $1 million in grants to support habitat restoration and other on-the-ground projects that advance recovery goals for threatened or sensitive native fish throughout the United States. The grants will generate more than $1.7 million in grantee matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $2.7 million. 

These grants were awarded through the Bring Back the Natives program, a partnership between NFWF, the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bass Pro Shops and the Brunswick Public Foundation. 

“Bring Back the Natives represents the benefits of coordinated efforts between private landowners and federal agencies to improve the health of watersheds,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO, NFWF. “The fifteen grants announced today will continue to preserve iconic fish in our nation’s rivers including Chinook salmon, steelhead, eastern brook trout, sturgeon and other native species.”

Leading factors in native fish species decline include habitat alteration, lack of adequate in-stream flows, and invasive and/or non-native species. The projects receiving grants will address key limiting factors for focal species using innovative solutions. In Washington State, for example, Trout Unlimited, Inc. will relocate 30 beavers and install 40 beaver dam analogs in the Wenatchee River and Entiat River basins to restore degraded ecosystems for the benefit of Chinook salmon, steelhead, bull trout, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout and other salmonids. The project will capture nuisance beavers from irrigation ditches, agricultural lands, and utility infrastructure and release them on federal lands where they benefit the natural habitat and ecosystem. 

Since Bring Back the Natives was established in 1991, the program has awarded $24.2 million in grants and generated over $86 million in matching contributions. In the last four years, projects under this program have removed nearly 100 barriers, reopened over 400 miles of habitat, and engaged over 3,500 volunteers in the restoration and enhancement of over 200 miles of stream. 

A complete list of the 2017 grants made through the Bring Back the Natives program is available here.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.8 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at​.