U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Secretary Salazar announces grants awarded for fish passage improvement on Bad River and Troutmere Creek in Wisconsin

Contact: Mark Brouder, 715-682-6186 x. 11

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Ashley Spratt 612-713-5314

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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a $40,000 grant was awarded to the Bad River Watershed Association for fish passage improvement and sediment reduction on the Bad River in Wisconsin. A second $14,700 grant was awarded to the Association to support a fish passage restoration project in Troutmere Creek. The grants are funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Both the Bad River and Troutmere Creek are tributaries of Lake Superior and provide important habitat for native aquatic species including lake sturgeon and brook trout.

“The economic recovery investments that the Department of the Interior is making will create jobs by building trails, restoring habitat, upgrading visitors’ centers, and protecting national treasures in communities across America, while leaving a lasting legacy for our children and grandchildren,” said Secretary Salazar.

The Bad River and its tributaries form a large watershed within the Lake Superior basin and contain diverse fish populations, including brook trout and lake sturgeon. The project on the Bad River will help reduce sediment inputs and provide fish passage to historic spawning sites. The Troutmere Creek Fish Passage Restoration project will also restore fish passage for aquatic species.

“The Midwest Region has a long tradition of enjoying the fish, wildlife, lakes, rivers and prairies we are so fortunate to have,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius. “The projects we will undertake in the Midwest as part of ARRA will provide jobs, increase the energy efficiency of government buildings, protect and enhance our natural resources, provide greater opportunities for people to enjoy those natural resources, and perhaps most importantly, help current and future generations understand and share our passion for the natural world.”

Future awards will be announced when known. Grant opportunities for all ARRA projects are announced on the Internet at http://www.grants.gov. More information about this and other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service projects is available at http://recovery.doi.gov/press/bureaus/us-fish-and-wildlife-service.

Funding for these projects and hundreds more across the nation comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Of the $3 billion appropriated to the Department of the Interior, the Act provides $280 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – which includes $115 million for construction, repair and energy efficiency retrofit projects at Service facilities, and $165 million for habitat restoration, deferred maintenance and capital improvement projects. The Service will benefit from an additional $10 million, which is administered by the Department of Transportation and is not included in the Service’s $280 million appropriation that will be used to rebuild and improve roads on several national wildlife refuges. Projects will immediately create local jobs in the communities where they are located, while stimulating long-term employment and economic opportunities for the American public.

Recovery Act projects address long-standing priority needs identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through its capital planning process. The Service worked through a rigorous merit-based process to identify and prioritize investments meeting the criteria put forth in the Recovery Act: namely, that a project addresses the Department’s highest priority mission needs; generates the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time; and creates lasting value for the American public.

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Department of the Interior is making an investment in conserving America’s timeless treasures – our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage – while helping middle class families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, employing youth and promoting community service.

For a full list of funded projects nationwide, go to the Department’s Recovery Web Site at http://recovery.doi.gov/. For a list of Service projects, click on the Service’s logo at the bottom of the page. Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior’s economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on the recovery web site, which will include an interactive map that enables the public to track where and how the Department’s recovery dollars are being spent. In addition, the public can submit questions, comments or concerns at [email protected].

Secretary Salazar also has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General to ensure the Recovery Program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility and transparency that President Obama has set.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov.