State/National/WorldFish Rap

Funds Allocated to Recover Threatened Pacific Salmon Under the Inflation Reduction Act

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fisheries secures $27 million to aid recovery of endangered pacific salmon amid climate challenges.

To support the recovery of Pacific salmon, NOAA Fisheries has received $27 million through the Inflation Reduction Act. These funds will bolster NOAA Fisheries’ comprehensive recovery strategy by investing in scientific research to inform management decisions and drive substantial progress in salmon recovery efforts.

NOAA’s role extends to safeguarding Pacific salmon from extinction and restoring their populations to sustainability. These salmon play a pivotal role in our culture, providing sustenance to communities and supporting livelihoods across the fishing industry. Additionally, they serve as a vital ecosystem component, offering nourishment to predators and enriching watersheds with essential marine nutrients. The recovery of Pacific salmon holds particular significance for the cultural heritage and economic prosperity of Pacific Northwest tribes, whose traditional knowledge plays a crucial role in conservation efforts. Twenty-eight distinct groups of West Coast salmon and steelhead are designated as threatened or endangered, spanning from Southern California to Washington State.

Each species of salmon has a detailed recovery plan crafted over years of collaboration with communities and managers. These plans, founded on the best available scientific knowledge, outline essential actions required to restore salmon populations to levels where they can once again fulfill their vital roles in our communities, economies and ecosystems. However, the task of salmon recovery is intricate and challenging due to climate change and other threats.

Climate change presents significant challenges, including rising sea levels, fluctuations in freshwater levels, higher temperatures, alterations in snowpack and snowmelt patterns, increased flooding, and ocean acidification. Addressing these threats requires actions that enhance salmon resilience and bolster human communities’ resilience.

The comprehensive strategy includes habitat restoration, ensuring water quality and quantity, sustainable fishing practices, scientific research and ongoing support for production hatcheries. Robust scientific research is crucial for adapting management strategies to the rich and diverse Pacific salmon populations and navigating uncertainties posed by a changing climate.

This funding will enable NOAA to invest in targeted solutions tailored to the unique challenges of each watershed along the West Coast. By leveraging accumulated knowledge, policymakers aim to make informed decisions that significantly impact the survival and recovery of Pacific salmon. Ultimately, the aim is to restore salmon populations to healthy and sustainable levels, benefiting West Coast ecosystems, communities and economies.

While years of research have provided insights into the obstacles hindering healthy Pacific salmon populations, there is still much to learn about the intricate interplay of various factors affecting salmon recovery within each watershed. Ongoing research efforts help lead to understanding of how habitat, water conditions, predation and other factors influence salmon survival and recovery.

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