American Rivers and Trout Unlimited, two US based conservation groups, have joined with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the next three years to channel funds towards conservation, restoration and improve conditions for anadromous fish.

As part of their effort in this direction, American Rivers and NOAA will partner to match state, local, and private funding for voluntary dam removal and fish passage projects in California, the Northeast, and the Mid-Atlantic states.

The project will focus on removing obsolete and unsafe dams to restore free flowing river habitat historically used for fish spawning and rearing. NOAA will provide up to US$2.5M to remove dams or improve fish passage.

As a matching grant award, the total value of the effort could exceed US$5M over the three-year life span of the partnership. American Rivers will receive US$400,000 during the first year of the partnership to support project funding and engineering expertise from NOAA’s Community-based Restoration Program.

Many of the projects chosen involve Pacific and Atlantic salmon, and all emphasise the basic connection between habitat and the overall ecology of coastal rivers and estuaries.