The Association Applauds Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding Supporting Fish Passage and Local Communities

April 26, 2024

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (Association) applauds the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as they announce awards for 43 projects to improve fish passage and protect communities by addressing outdated or obsolete dams, culverts, levees and other barriers fragmenting the nation’s rivers and streams.

Totaling just over $70 million, the 43 projects are spread across 29 states and feature a variety of partner project leads, including state agencies, tribes, NGOs, and local water authorities. The awards represent the third and fourth years of funding of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law National Fish Passage Program, a five-year, $200 million commitment to restore free-flowing waters across the country.

“These projects will make a huge difference for fish species around the country, said Chuck Sykes, Director of the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and President of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. “In my home state of Alabama, the Choctawhatchee, Pea, and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority’s successful proposal to remove the inoperable Elba Hydroelectric Dam—the only fish passage barrier in the Choctawhatchee River basin—will result in a 29% increase in access to habitat types used by threatened and endangered fish and mussel species in the basin.”

This diverse portfolio of aquatic conservation projects receiving funds will improve fish passage and climate resilience, increase recreational opportunities, and strengthen local economies. This important work is accomplished through a multi-agency approach, working with and investing in states and local partners to yield transformational results for local communities.


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.