Schrier and Larsen Introduce Bill to Assist Salmon and Steelhead Passage

July 27, 2020
Press Release

ISSAQUAH, WA – Today, Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08) and Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) introduced a bill to ensure projects benefiting salmon and steelhead receive equal consideration under a federal law to restore aquatic ecosystems for fish and wildlife.

“Salmon and steelhead fish play an important role in the Northwest ecosystem,” said Rep. Schrier. “We need to make sure we are balancing the needs of farmers and agriculture industries while protecting endangered fish and wildlife and giving them the best shot at survival. It is a delicate balance. This bill will make sure that tidegates and other critical restoration projects are provided equal consideration by the Corps to help maintain this balance and protect the environment.”

“The waters of Puget Sound and the wildlife that call it home are cornerstones of Northwest Washington’s cultural identity, maritime economy and environment,” said Rep. Larsen, a Co-Chair of the Congressional Estuary Caucus. “This provision dedicates robust federal funding to support habitat restoration initiatives and helps recover endangered salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.”

Examples of such projects critical to fish habitat or passage in the new authority include:

  • installing fish bypass structures;
  • modifying tide gates; and
  • restoring or reconnecting floodplains and wetlands.

Section 206 projects provide authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out aquatic ecosystem restoration and protection projects. It must be demonstrated that the proposed project will increase aquatic ecosystem habitat units and is cost-effective.