Jaime Herrera Beutler Secures Increase in Salmon Recovery Funds in Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill that Clears House Committee
Boost in funding will help improve hatchery production and prevent hatcheries from being shut down
Yesterday, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved the 2017 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill that included strong salmon recovery efforts.
Yesterday, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved the 2017 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill that included strong salmon recovery efforts. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Jaime helped protect key programs that aid salmon populations and increases in funding for salmon hatcheries.
The 2017 Commerce, Science, and Justice Appropriations bill funds the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies. The bill is expected to be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives in coming weeks.
“The fight to protect and restore Southwest Washington’s salmon populations is important to the economy and quality of life throughout the Northwest," said Jaime. “As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I am committed to using taxpayer dollars in a responsible way and I am proud of how this bill targets specific hatchery management needs to ensure our community’s salmon restoration efforts can accomplish responsible stewardship of our unique wildlife and way of life in the Pacific Northwest."
Salmon recovery efforts supported in the Commerce portion of the bill:
Salmon Management Activities – It increases funding for salmon management activities at hatcheries to $35.5 million, a $4 million increase over last year’s levels. There are 12 salmon hatcheries that are maintained in Southwest Washington. The boost in funding will help improve hatchery production, which supports more than 1,300 jobs and $50 million in economic activity.
Salmon Hatchery Compliance – The bill also secures $5 million, a $1 million increase, to help hatchery operators gain approval for their hatchery programs that are submitted to the National Marine Fishery Service. There is currently an administrative backlog inhibiting hatcheries from being approved and recognized as ESA compliant, thus putting them at risk of being shut down directly impacting recreational fisheries. A recent article in the Columbian reported that National Marine Fisheries Service said it has completed work on plans for 26 Columbia River hatcheries and is actively working on Endangered Species Act review of 32 more, including 16 on lower Columbia tributaries in Washington.
Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF) – The bill secures $65 million for PCSRF, a program that provides critical funding for recovery and sustainability projects to improve wild salmon and steelhead habitats in Pacific Northwest. As of 2015, PCSRF funding has been applied to 322 fish enhancement projects in Southwest Washington and has restored over 9,500 miles of stream on the west coast for fish passage. The restoration work done through PCSRF in part helps secure a future for recreational fishing in Washington state – an industry that as of 2011, contributed 5,100 jobs and $247 million in income for Washington residents, generated $654 million in sales and contributed $390 million to the state’s gross domestic product.