Biden-Harris Administration announces $20 million for environmental projects in five states: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds #ColoradoRiver endangered species recovery projects — Reclamation #COriver #CRWUA2022

Water from the Colorado River flows through the Grand Valley Irrigation Company’s canal near Palisade, shown in a file photo. Photo credit: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

Click the link to read the release on the Reclamation website (Mary Carlson):

The Bureau of Reclamation today announced $20 million in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for endangered species recovery and conservation in the Colorado River Basin. Project funding will support the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program, San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program and Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program.

“Our mission is to protect and manage water in an environmentally sound manner,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “This funding will help each of these programs to advance or complete projects to help protect species that are also feeling the impacts of drought.”

The Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program and San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program work to recover endangered and threatened fish in the Upper Colorado River Basin while water development proceeds in accordance with Federal and state laws and interstate compacts. The Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program was created to balance the use of the Colorado River water resources in Arizona, California and Nevada with the conservation of native species and their habitats.

The selected projects are:

  • Colorado: $6.4 million for the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program and partner Grand Valley Irrigation Company to install a fish screen to reduce or prevent entrainment of fish species into the canal system. Rehabilitation efforts will increase the survival of threatened and endangered fish species while providing more reliable deliveries for water users.
  • Utah: $2.8 million for the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program to address needed repairs that will improve performance and efficiency of fish hatcheries in order to enhance production of threatened and endangered fish for stocking purposes.
  • Utah, Colorado, New Mexico: $800,000 for the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program to improve and expand endangered fish monitoring capabilities.
  • New Mexico: $3 million for the San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program to provide expansion and enrichment facilities at Navajo Agricultural Products Industry Ponds and the Southwestern Native Aquatic Resources Recovery Center, which will allow the Program to meet stocking objectives for endangered fish.
  • Arizona, California: $6 million for the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program to provide for dredging activities and equipment rental within the Section 26 Conservation Area and the design work for a power line extension needed within the Beal Lake Conservation Area.  Funding will also provide for equipment needed for backwater and marsh construction at both.  

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates $8.3 billion for Bureau of Reclamation water infrastructure projects over the next five years to repair aging water delivery systems, secure dams, complete rural water projects, and protect aquatic ecosystems. In August, Reclamation announced an $8.5 million investment for the Lake Mead State Fish Hatchery as part of Colorado River endangered species recovery efforts.

Screen shot from the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program website August 28, 2021:

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