Led by Senator Murray’s efforts, Senate Appropriations Committee approves multi-million dollar increase for Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund and other critical salmon recovery programs; bill now moves to full Senate
Legislation addresses important Washington state environmental priorities, including funding for Puget Sound restoration, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and continued funding for implementation of fire borrowing fix, calls for oversight of tribal trust issues, and more
Legislation also rejects President Trump’s proposed cuts to critical science, climate research
Senator Murray: “Strong investments in salmon recovery strengthen our households and businesses…I’m proud to support these investments and will continue working to protect vital salmon habitats that fuel jobs and communities across Washington state”
(Washington, D.C.) – Led by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), efforts to strengthen investments in vital salmon recovery in Washington state took a major step forwardtoday when the Senate Appropriations Committee advanced a spending bill for the fiscal year that includes increased funding for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund and other salmon recovery programs. The legislation, which passed out of the committee 30-1, includes an increase of $5 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund for a total of $70 million, in addition to a $2 million increase for salmon management activities and $1 million increase for pacific salmon research conversation efforts. The bill will now go to the full Senate for a vote.
“Our salmon runs are a bedrock of Washington’s state’s cultural heritage, and protecting this vital resource for our families, tribal communities, and future generations is critical to our economy and livelihood. Strong investments in salmon recovery strengthen our households and businesses, and as a voice for Washingtonians, I’m proud to support these investments and will continue working to protect vital salmon habitats that fuel jobs and communities across Washington state,” said Senator Murray.
Senator Murray, a senior member of the committee and a longtime defender of Washington state’s salmon habitats, led efforts to restore funding for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund after a previous proposal from President Trump to eliminate funding for the program, and championed these increased investments in the program during negotiations. First established by Congress in 2000 to protect, restore, and conserve Pacific salmon populations and their habitats, since its inception the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund has empowered states and tribes in Washington and throughout the West to undertake well over 10,000 conservation projects, resulting in significant changes in habitat condition and availability, and the establishment of concrete planning and monitoring programs that support prioritization and tracking for salmon and steelhead populations.
Along with investments in the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery fund, the spending bill supports other important Washington state environmental priorities, including funding increases for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Nation Sea Grant College Program and repairs at its Mukilteo Research Station. Additional spending bills advanced by the Appropriations Committee today maintain funding for Puget Sound restoration and important conservation programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as well as provide critical support to communities to defend against dangerous wildfires. The legislation also calls for greater tribal consultation in the Administration’s process for revising critical tribal fee-to-trust regulations, and seeks more efficient approval of pending fee-to-trust applications.
Details and additional bill highlights below:
· Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund: $5 million increase above FY 2018 funding levels
· Protected Species Research and Management – Pacific Salmon: $1 million increase above FY 2018 funding levels
· Salmon Management Activities (Mitchell Act Hatcheries and Pacific Salmon Treaty): Mitchell Act hatcheries were increased by $2 million above FY 2018 funding levels, and Pacific Salmon Treaty funding was maintained at current funding levels
· NOAA Nation Sea Grant College Program: $6 million increase over FY 2018 funding levels
· NOAA Mukilteo Research Station: $10 million increase over FY 2018 funding levels
· $28 million in sustained funding for the Puget Sound Geographic Program
· Land and Water Conservation Fund: $25 million intra-agency increase from FY 2018 funding level
· Fire Borrowing: Secured $2.454 billion to help defend against wildfire disasters, in accordance with the fire borrowing fix passed in FY 2018 omnibus spending bill
· Payment in Lieu of Taxes: $20 million funding increase for payments to counties with significant federal inholdings at $500 million
· Scientific Research: $596 million funding increase over the Trump Administration’s request for the National Science Foundation
· Climate Science: $147 million funding increase over the Trump Administration’s request for NASA’s Earth Science mission, which supports essential climate science research