On Thursday, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced an investment of $27 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help support recovery efforts for Pacific salmon populations.

A joint release said the federal funds are available due to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.

This investment builds on several projects Senator Wyden has supported, including a $2.5 million grant in 2022 to replace larger culverts on five rivers in the Tillamook Bay basin to increase salmon and other fish habitat.

Wyden said, “This federal investment is going to go a long way in making sure the salmon, which is so central to our culture and economies here in Oregon, recover from the population decline we have seen year after year”. Wyden said, “We have much work to do, but these actions will help build on the past successful projects such as restoring spawning grounds, establishing a Salmon Superhighway, and easing stress on migration routes”.

Merkley said, “The health of communities across Oregon goes hand-in-hand with the health of our state’s waterways, fish habitats and infrastructure”. Merkley said, “These federal investments will support initiatives to help strengthen natural infrastructure and reconnect fish habitats and migration routes – initiatives critical to boosting salmon recovery efforts and investing in the long-term viability of Oregon’s coastal communities”.

The release said additional funding is allocated to research projects that will benefit salmon populations and recovery efforts. These investments by NOAA from the Inflation Reduction Act amount to a total investment of $42 million nationally to address issues with salmon populations and restoration programs.