NOAA Awards More than $800,000 to American Rivers for Local Restoration Projects

October 12, 2007

NOAA has awarded American Rivers, a national organization devoted to preserving and restoring rivers, an $800,355 grant to renew its joint effort with NOAA to restore streams and rivers in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Northwest, and California that benefit salmon, striped bass, American shad, and other species that migrate between fresh and salt water.

"American Rivers has been at the forefront of creating strong community initiatives that restore coastal habitat for fish that spawn in freshwater and migrate to the ocean, ” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., NOAA administrator and under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere.

The grant funds awarded to American Rivers will support stream barrier removal projects that help restore river ecosystems, enhance public safety and have clear and identifiable benefits to migratory fish populations in the four target regions. Local organizations may apply for part of this grant money by visiting These river restoration projects will also boost communities’ natural resiliency to the effects of climate change and extreme weather events such as flooding and storms.

“Rivers are at the heart of our communities,” said Rebecca R. Wodder, president of American Rivers. “Through our partnership with NOAA, we have been able to provide communities with the technical and financial assistance they need to turn rivers from afterthoughts to assets, and promote awareness and appreciation of healthy rivers as both an economic and environmental benefit.”

For the past six years, the collaboration between NOAA and American Rivers has resulted in more than $2 million being invested in almost 100 projects that create passage for migratory fish by removing dams or culverts, building rock ramps, fish ladders and other ways for fish to migrate upstream. NOAA’s Open Rivers Initiative provides the funding for these projects.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

Through national advocacy, innovative solutions and its growing network of strategic partners, American Rivers protects and promote rivers as valuable community assets that are vital to health, safety and quality of life. Founded in 1973, American Rivers has more than 65,000 members and online supporters nationwide, with offices in Washington, DC and the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, California, and Northwest regions.