Irma Lagomarsino, NOAA Fisheries, joins PMEP Steering Committee

We want to give a warm welcome to our newest PMEP steering committee member, Irma Lagomarsino! Irma is a Senior Policy Advisor for the Oregon/Washington Coastal Office of NOAA Fisheries in Portland, Oregon, helping to build strategic collaborative solutions for salmon recovery with a particular emphasis in western Oregon. Previously, Irma served as the Assistant Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries California Coastal Office and as the Northern California Office Supervisor where she oversaw Endangered Species Act programs for listed salmon and steelhead. In 2014, Irma received the Bureau of Reclamation’s John W. Keys, III Award for Building Partnerships and Strengthening Relationships for her collaborative work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Reclamation. As a key leader for NOAA Fisheries, she helped forage the precedent-setting Klamath Agreements with agricultural, tribal and fishing communities, conservation organizations, states and other federal agencies. With 30 years of experience in the public sector, Irma focuses on building effective partnerships across-sectors to find innovative approaches for advancing the conservation of NOAA trust resources while supporting sustainable land use and communities. A native of California, she received her B.S. Degree in Marine Biology at the University of California at Berkeley and a M.S. Degree in Marine Environmental Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

PMEP hosts Estuary Restoration & Mapping session at Oregon AFS Meeting

Join PMEP for an in-depth look at estuary restoration and mapping along the US West Coast at the 2021 Oregon Chapter American Fisheries Society 57th Annual Meeting to be held March 3-5, 2021. PMEP’s session will happen on Wednesday, March 3 and will include presentations ranging from estuary mapping, to climate change considerations, salmon resiliency, and restoration case studies. Find the full schedule HERE. Register for the conference at orafs.org

Stan Allen elected to the Board of Directors of the National Fish Habitat Partnership

Congratulations to PMEP Steering Committee member Stan Allen, who was recently elected to the newly reformed Board of Directors of the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP)! Stan, who works for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, will be representing the Marine Fisheries Commissions/Councils on the NFHP board. Stan was a long-time member of the previous NFHP Board of Directors and has been instrumental in ensuring that NFHP achieves its goals of restoring and conserving fish habitat nationally. Congratulations, Stan!

About the National Fish Habitat Partnership:

Since 2006, the National Fish Habitat Partnership has supported over 1,030 projects benefiting fish habitat in all 50 states. The National Fish Habitat Partnership works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state, tribal, and private funding resources to achieve the greatest effect on fish populations through priority conservation projects of 20 regionally-based Fish Habitat Partnerships. In 2020, the National Fish Habitat Partnership was recognized by Congress as part of the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act. For more information, visit http://fishhabitat.org/.

Marina Cazorla, California Department of Parks and Recreation, joins PMEP Steering Committee

We are happy to welcome Marina Cazorla, the Coastal Programs Manager for the California Department of Parks and Recreation in Sacramento, as the PMEP Steering Committee’s newest member! Before working for the parks department, Marina worked with the California Ocean Protection Council, the State Coastal Conservancy, and the Coastal Commission, as well as with an association of environmental philanthropies supporting coastal conservation in Mexico. She holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and a Master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. One of her fondest college memories is meeting novelist Haruki Murakami. She currently pursues pandemic hobbies, including failed gardening, happy chickens, and a new camper trailer.

Funding for Habitat Projects Involving Anglers!

PMEP is excited to share NOAA’s Office of Habitat Conservation and the Recreational Fisheries Initiative Request for Proposals for projects within coastal Fish Habitat Partnerships that protect or restore habitat AND engage recreational fishing partners. The National Fish Habitat Partnership and individual Fish Habitat Partnerships provide strategic opportunities to advance priority habitat conservation projects while also engaging recreational anglers.

The goals of this funding opportunity are to support Fish Habitat Partnerships’ habitat restoration work and to enhance collaboration with the recreational fishing community.

As one of 20 Fish Habitat Partnerships around the nation, PMEP is happy to facilitate projects within coastal Washington, Oregon, and California to pursue this funding.

For information on how to propose a project, click here.

Photo Credit: Squirrel_photos from Pixabay.

America’s Conservation Enhancement Act signed into law with bipartisan support and unanimous consent

The America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, was enacted into law on October 30th, 2020, and reauthorizes the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) and codifies the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP), which represent two of the most successful voluntary conservation efforts in the United States.

The NFHP is comprised of 20 individual Fish Habitat Partnerships, each focusing on improving fish habitat and aquatic communities at regional and local levels. The NFHP has supported over 1,000 projects supporting fish habitat in all 50 states since 2006. Annually, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides funding and technical assistance to the partnerships to implement aquatic conservation projects nationwide and is also supported by many federal, state, and local agencies as well as regional and national conservation organizations.

With the signing of the bill into law, the National Fish Habitat Partnership is authorized for the next five fiscal years (2021-2025) at $7.2 million annually. The National Fish Habitat Board will report to Congress, particularly the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate, and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives.  The law will also expand the NFHPB to 26 members to include representatives from private landowners, agricultural production, representative involved in fish habitat restoration, corporate industries, and a member of an active FHP.

Technical and Scientific Assistance funds are authorized to be appropriated for up to $400,000 annually to each of the following agencies: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Geological Survey in support of the National Fish Habitat Partnership. Within one year of enactment, the agencies receiving Technical and Scientific Assistance funds, led by the Department of the Interior, will develop an interagency operational plan outlining the implementation needs and interagency agreements.

A coalition of conservation organizations commended the sponsors of this bipartisan legislation for their commitment to fish and wildlife conservation: Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) as well as Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), Rep. Robert Wittman (R-VA), Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) in getting it to the President’s desk for signature during this Congressional session.

Barriers to Tidal Connectivity Symposium draws hundreds of participants

Barriers to tidal connectivity are of major concern to the three Fish Habitat Partnerships (FHPs) that work to improve, restore and conserve fish habitats along the US West Coast. The negative impacts of these barriers include (but are not limited to) impeding fish passage,  sediment processes interference,  water quality degradation, and alterations of the array of fish habitats within estuaries. The Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership (PMEP), the California Fish Passage Forum (CFPF), and the Pacific Lamprey Conservation Initiative (PLCI) are collaborating on a project to identify science and data gaps associated with barriers along the coast, and to identify actions they can take individually and collaboratively to drive lasting solutions to the negative impacts of these barriers on fish and fish habitats.

With generous funding from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the collaborating FHPs recently held a Barriers to Tidal Connectivity Symposium. The one-day symposium brought together experts in the field to explore:

• History of tidal barriers in the US West Coast
• Functional impacts of barriers to tidal connectivity
• Fish passage needs
• Tidegate effectiveness
• Climate change and tidal barriers
• Tidal barrier datasets

More than 300 people attended the Symposium.

You can find more information about the Symposium, including the agenda, recorded presentations and the list of speakers HERE.

Carrie Byron, Puget Sound Partnership, Joins PMEP Steering Committee

We’re happy to welcome Carrie Byron, Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) Program Manager at the Puget Sound Partnership, to the PMEP Steering Committee! Carrie manages a salmon habitat protection and restoration grant program that supports local priority and regional large capacity salmon recovery projects throughout Puget Sound. Before coming to the Partnership, she worked at the Washington State Department of Ecology, where she managed the Watershed Protection and Restoration Lead Organization grant from EPA’s National Estuary Program. Carrie has also served as the Marine and Nearshore Lead for EPA’s Puget Sound Team and coordinated the Department of Ecology’s Coastal Zone Management Program for five years, where she oversaw the state’s Shoreline Master Program Grants program. She has a Master of Marine Affairs and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington’s School of Marine Affairs and Evans School of Public Affairs, respectively, and a B.A. in English from Whitman College. Carrie lives in Seattle and enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, camping, and exploring the outdoors with her family in her spare time.

PMEP Now Accepting Applications for Project Funding

The Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership (PMEP) is seeking project proposals that benefit nursery habitats for PMEP focal species within smaller estuarine and nearshore waters along the West Coast.

To apply for funding, interested applicants should complete and submit the online application. Please read the full Request for Proposals for instructions regarding what information to include and the preferred format for information. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. The deadline for project proposal submissions is 5:00PM PST, Friday, October 30, 2020.

Access the full Request for Proposals here.

National Fish Habitat Partnership Releases 2019 Annual Report

The National Fish Habitat Partnership released its 2019 Annual Report highlighting progress on its mission to “protect, restore, and enhance the nation’s fish and aquatic communities through partnerships that foster fish habitat conservation and improve the quality of life for the American people.” Through the National Fish Habitat Partnership program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners provided more than $18 million to support 83 fish habitat conservation projects in 34 states. The Service provided $4 million in 2019, with state resource agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other partners contributing an additional $14 million. read the report here.