Gov. Inslee Announces $ 187 Million Plan for WA Salmon Recovery | Washington News
BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has offered to invest $ 187 million in salmon recovery as part of his 2022 budget and policy proposals.
Inslee announced his salmon proposals Tuesday at Swadabs Park in the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Reserve, the Bellingham Herald reported.
The act would set new standards for efforts to protect and conserve salmon habitat. The Lorraine Loomis Act was named in honor of the Swinomish tribal elder and salmon advocate who passed away this summer.
Inslee said the legislation is the result of two years of discussions with the state’s tribes.
Salmon are an important resource for the tribes of the Pacific Northwest, many of whom, through treaty rights, are guaranteed the right to fish, hunt and gather.
“Our fight is simple: to be able to cultivate our culture and feed our minds with the foods we are used to,” Kim Murphy, Loomis’ daughter said Tuesday.
Inslee’s proposed investments in salmon recovery include $ 123 million for new protections for riparian salmon habitat along the banks of rivers and streams and more than $ 16 million for quality improvement and of the water temperature.
He also wants to invest $ 5 million in green infrastructure grants for projects that store water during high flows and release it during low flows, as well as $ 6.5 million to improve science and monitoring. .
Some of the specifics of Inslee’s plan include removing more barriers to fish passage, such as culverts, and reintroducing salmon to their historic habitat above areas blocked by barriers such as dams and bridges.
The plan also includes goals to integrate salmon recovery into hatchery and hydroelectric operations.
Federal dollars for nationwide salmon salvage are coming to Washington through the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure act, and there may be more in the Build Back Better Act.
“I commend Governor Inslee for his leadership in supporting vital salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest, and I will make sure the federal government does its part to reclaim our iconic salmon runs,” said Senator American Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, in a statement. a statement from Tuesday.
Salmon populations are in trouble. Over 70% of endangered or threatened salmon and rainbow trout populations ‘are not keeping pace’ with recovery goals or are ‘in crisis’, says 2020 State of the Salmon report in watersheds. Salmon are losing more habitat than they are gaining, Inslee said.
“We’re running out of time,” said Willy Frank III, president of the Nisqually Tribal Council, at Tuesday’s event. “I think we are past the emergency point now when it comes to salmon habitat and clean water.”
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