Washington receives $22 million for salmon recovery projects

September 8, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 8, 2012

State salmon recovery managers received $22 million to support restoration projects statewide.

The total includes $15 million for the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board to award as competitive grants for projects statewide. Officials announced the $22 million federal grant Sept. 6.

In addition, $3.3 million from the federal grant goes to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for hatchery and harvest reform projects. Projects to monitor the effectiveness of state efforts receive $2.9 million.

“A healthy Washington state economy is reliant on healthy salmon populations,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a statement. “Salmon support jobs and small businesses — especially our mom-and-pop tackle shops, restaurants, fishing guides and hotels.”

Officials thanked the federal government for the grant award.

“Our congressional delegation has been instrumental in helping ensure that salmon recovery remains a top priority and that we take care of this important international resource,” Salmon Recovery Funding Board Chairman Bud Hover said in a statement. “Restoring salmon populations will help Washington state in many ways. It can increase jobs and fishing opportunities as well as improve our lakes, rivers and streams.”

Recreational salmon fishing creates almost $130 million in economic activity every year, according to a 2006 study by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“That doesn’t include what restoration and protection of land does for property values and quality of life,” Kaleen Cottingham, state Recreation and Conservation Office director, said in a statement. “It’s hard to think of Washington without salmon.”

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