June 2, 2020
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is excited to see the National Fish Habitat Partnership’s 2020 list of “Waters to Watch” representing a snapshot of voluntary, locally driven freshwater, estuarine and marine habitat conservation efforts implemented across the country. States are a key partner in implementing these conservation priorities.
“Many of the National Fish Habitat Partnership projects have been fostered through coordination efforts by state fish and wildlife agencies and partners who work diligently to conserve fish habitat and improve angling opportunities across the country,” said Secretary Kelly Hepler of South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “The Association is pleased to be one of many partners to help in these efforts to conserve our nation’s valuable natural resources.”
“The projects, which focus on the protection, restoration, and enhancement of fish habitats across the country, are a sampling of the top priorities of our partnerships,” said Ed Schriever, Chair of the National Fish Habitat Board and Director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. “The Waters to Watch campaign provides people an opportunity to learn about our projects in a more in-depth way, which exemplifies collaborative conservation involving many partners.”
The 2020 “Waters to Watch” list and associated Fish Habitat Partnerships:
- Bear River Estuary, Washington (Retrospective) – Pacific Marine and Estuarine Partnership
- Boone River Watershed, Iowa (Retrospective) – Fishers and Farmers Partnership
- Chipola River, Florida (Retrospective) – Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership
- Deep Creek Town Diversion and Warner Basin, Oregon (Retrospective) – Western Native Trout Initiative
- Maunalua Bay, Hawai’i – Hawai’i Fish Habitat Partnership
- Minsi Lake, Pennsylvania – Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership
- San Juan and Santiago Watersheds, California – California Fish Passage Forum
- San Luis Obispo Creek, California – Pacific Lamprey Conservation Initiative
- Shoshone Springs, California (Retrospective) – Desert Fish Habitat Partnership
- Tularosa River, New Mexico – Desert Fish Habitat Partnership
About the National Fish Habitat Partnership:
The National Fish Habitat Partnership works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state and private funding sources to achieve the greatest impact on fish populations through priority conservation projects. The mission of the program is “to protect, restore and enhance the nation's fish and aquatic communities through partnerships that foster fish habitat conservation and improve the quality of life for the American people.” The national partnership implements the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and supports 20 regional grassroots partner organizations. For more information visit www.fishhabitat.org
AFWA and the National Fish Habitat Partnership Program:
The National Fish Habitat Action Plan is an unprecedented attempt to address an unseen crisis for fish nationwide: loss and degradation of their watery homes. The plan was born in 2001 when an ad hoc group supported by the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council explored the notion of developing a partnership effort for fish on the scale of what was done for waterfowl in the 1980s through the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The waterfowl plan has worked wonders during the past two decades to boost waterfowl populations by forming strong local and regional partnerships to protect key habitats. AFWA supports staffing for the National Fish Habitat Partnership and also plays a key role in the Executive Leadership Team of the Board. The National Fish Habitat Board is also comprised of members from states and regional AFWA Associations.
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.