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CONSERVATION
Native fish, wildlife and their habitat
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The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has over 11 billion dollars to invest in creating healthy natural areas that support our wildlife, recreation, and economy. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for conservation and communities in Oregon.

FHWA has officially released the long-awaited NOFO for the BIL’s National Culvert Removal, Replacement, and Restoration Grant Program!

In this first year, FHWA will be awarding $196 million in grants to eligible entities for projects seeking to improve or restore fish passage for anadromous fish. As a brief reminder, eligible entities and activities are as follows:

Eligible Entities and Cost Share: States, units of local government, and Tribes. The NOFO allows project bundling and eligible applicants to work with other entities to propose a project. States and units of local government are limited to 80% Federal cost share. Tribes do not have a cost share requirement.  

Eligible Activities: Projects seeking to replace, remove, or repair culverts or weirs that would meaningfully improve or restore fish passage for anadromous fish. With respect to weirs, the project may include infrastructure to facilitate anadromous fish passage around or over the weir; and weir improvements.

  • Projects eligible for funding must also demonstrate a transportation nexus.
  • Further, removing or repairing culverts/weirs that are the subject of a settlement agreement or court order (such as the 2013 US v. WA decision) are eligible under this program providing a huge opportunity to facilitate the restoration of tribal treaty rights.

The application due date for these initial FY 2022 funds is 11:59 p.m. ET on February 6, 2023. All applications must be submitted through www.grants.gov which requires applicants to have a unique identification number from www.sam.gov. As the process to obtain an identification number can take weeks, the NOFO recommends applicants start that process early and in parallel to developing a grant application.

The NOFO (attached here) can also be found on www.grants.gov (“FY2022-CULVERT-AOP-PROGRAM”) as well as on FHWA’s new Culvert AOP Program website where you’ll find a link to the NOFO, a fact sheet on the program, and other information and resources related to the program.

FHWA will also be hosting an informational, outreach webinar from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. ET on October 26, 2022 in cooperation with the FWS and NMFS. This is an opportunity for interested applicants to ask questions and learn about the program. Register for the webinar on Culvert AOP Program website. The webinar will also be recorded and posted on the same website. FHWA will be managing questions through CulvertAOP@dot.gov – please feel free to share this email with potential applicants.

Video update by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife featuring Gov. Kate Brown provides background information on the long-standing project to rehabilitate the Wallowa Lake dam. View on YouTube.
A large wood habitat restoration project was conducted in partnership with Necanicum Watershed Council, Oregon Department of Forestry, and Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board in Bergsvik Creek in 2017. Coho fry use of a variety of habitats created by the restoration project was captured on April 15, 2022 while evaluating the project 5 years after completion. View on YouTube.

ODFW IIJA Focal Areas

ODFW is focusing efforts in a few key places where additional funding is needed to get us over the finish line, achieving great outcomes for fish and wildlife and for Oregon’s communities. The six focal themes/areas include:

The department is currently developing implementation strategies for each of our focal areas. Keeping checking in for more information, and make sure to explore our vision for IIJA funding implementation! ODFW IIJA Focal Areas (pdf)

How you can help!

There is a lot we can all do to benefit both fish and wildlife, our communities, and our economy. Funds from the IIJA are a once in a lifetime opportunity to do the work but the time is short. We have just 5 years to make the most of this chance.

  • Apply for an IIJA grant directly or with partners, and bring vital funding into Oregon!
  • Communicate Oregon’s IIJA funding needs with federal agency partners
  • Provide support for IIJA funding in ODFW focal areas
  • Let us know if you receive any IIJA funding in Oregon

Where to find more information on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:

Where to find more information on IIJA funding opportunities:

  • Visit Grants.gov: for more information on IIJA grant opportunities, enter ‘Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’ in the keyword search. You can also subscribe to grant updates.
  • Click here to see a summary of the potential funding opportunities ODFW is following that relate to natural resources in Oregon. Please note that not all funding opportunities are included, and make sure to check back frequently as the information will be updated in real-time. Updated 06/29/22
  • Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – complete dataset spreadsheet (XLSX) Updated 05/11/22

IIJA Grants Currently Open:

National Culvert Removal, Replacement, and Restoration Grant Program!

  • Focus: Projects seeking to replace, remove, or repair culverts or weirs that would meaningfully improve or restore fish passage for anadromous fish.
  • Application Period: October 6, 2022 – February 6, 2023
  • Funding: $196 million
  • Eligible Applicants: States, Local Government, and Tribes
  • Apply: https://www.grants.gov  Funding Opportunity Number: FY2022-CULVERT-AOP-PROGRAM
  • Grant Info: Culvert AOP Program website
  • ODFW Staff Contact: Kregg Smith Kregg.m.Smith@odfw.oregon.gov

For more information contact Andrea Hanson, ODFW Conservation Policy Coordinator (andrea.v.hanson@odfw.oregon.gov)

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