On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684) which provides a generational opportunity to not only create new infrastructure, but also repair the ecological damage of obsolete structures that have fundamentally changed our nation’s rivers. This infrastructure bill is intended to promote transformative, efficient and cost-saving transportation programs while creating natural infrastructure that protects and enhances surface transportation assets while improving ecosystem conditions for functional rivers and estuarine systems. The Act sets aside billions of dollars for federal agencies and tribal nations to upgrade bridges, dams and culverts which have blocked passage of aquatic species for decades. As these structures are improved or removed, migration to historic habitat is restored and native fish populations can rebound. The solutions that have the best chance of success support both wildlife and people, and align with the Forum’s mission to protect and revitalize anadromous fish populations by restoring freshwater habitat connectivity in California.
Learn more about how this landmark legislation will bolster efforts to improve fish passage in California, including investments through Forum signatory agencies, in this statement from the Forum’s Chair, Sandra Jacobson (CalTrout, Director – South Coast).