Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 10/12/2023

National Fish Passage Program Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Restoring River, Floodplain, and Coastal Connectivity and Resiliency

The NFPP is a voluntary program that provides direct technical and financial assistance to partners to remove instream barriers, restore aquatic organism passage, and restore climate resilient aquatic connectivity in rivers, floodplains, and coastal habitats for the benefit of Federal trust resources. The program targets aquatic connectivity opportunities that rebuild productive and sustainable fisheries, contribute to the recovery and conservation of the Service’s aquatic trust species, enhance watershed health, promote resilient ecosystems and communities especially in disadvantaged communities, and improve economic vitality, including local employment. NFPP aims to maintain or increase native fish populations to improve ecosystem resiliency and provide quality fishing experiences for the American people. Activities that restore aquatic connectivity and fish passage also support the modernization of the country’s infrastructure such as road culverts, bridges, and water diversions contributing to enhanced community resilience to the impacts from climate change and other public safety hazards. NFPP funds a variety of project types including, but not limited to dam removals, culvert replacements, floodplain restoration and reconnection, dike breaches, and reconnection of tidal habitats.

A principal objective of the NFPP is to provide technical assistance to partners in support of projects that aim to restore aquatic connectivity and aquatic organism passage through the removal of instream barriers and the reconnection of floodplains. We use our staff and cooperative partnerships to provide (1) information on native aquatic species habitat needs and methods for aquatic connectivity; (2) technical engineering support to develop or review project designs and recommend the most effective techniques; (3) assistance to partners in planning and prioritizing fish passage projects; and (4) assistance in fulfilling environmental compliance requirements.

The NFPP prioritizes projects that will: (1) maximize benefits to native priority species and habitats; (2) provide sustainable fish passage benefits; (3) contribute to or otherwise leverage regional or watershed priorities for habitat restoration, fish passage, or aquatic connectivity; (4) enhance community resilience to climate change, address other public safety hazards and generally, provide other co-benefits such as job creation or recreational fishing opportunities; (5) involve advance coordination on species and watershed priorities with Tribes and States; (6) provide benefits to or engage with disadvantaged communities; and (7) be supported by partners, affected stakeholders, and the local community.

Activities proposed under this award may include project planning and feasibility studies, engineering and design, permitting, on-the-ground fish passage restoration, near-term implementation monitoring, project outreach, and capacity to manage these project-related activities. Applicants may apply for funding to support any combination of these activities however, priority will be given to applications that can demonstrate a clear timeline and pathway for on-the-ground implementation within a timely manner (i.e., 1-4 years). Proposals that focus on the removal of barriers and natural channel or floodplain restoration will score higher in some evaluation criteria than proposals that focus on establishing passage around a barrier that are reliant on artificial passage structures such as fishways or fish ladders. Proposals are encouraged to maximize largescale ecosystem restoration and should do so by leveraging funding from other sources, with particular emphasis on BIL funding through other Federal agencies or may include multiple project sites throughout a watershed or other geographic area.

To be considered for NFPP BIL funding, interested applicants must submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) via email to their respective NFPP Regional Coordinator by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 17, 2023 (Contacts are listed at: https://www.fws.gov/program/national-fishpassage/contact-us).

Regional and National review will occur in fall 2023 and winter of 2024 with final project selections announced in spring 2024. Full applications in GrantSolutions for selected projects are by invitation only and are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on December 31, 2024 for FY24 funding or September 30, 2025 for FY2025 funds.

Eligibility Requirements

For eligible applicants to receive funding, NFPP BIL projects must be developed and implemented in coordination with FAC staff. FAC Program staff work collaboratively with potential applicants to identify common conservation priorities and provide technical assistance to applicants in the generation and development of projects. To be eligible for this funding, potential applicants must work with their local FAC Program staff to ensure the eligibility of their project (see Section D2 for letter of interest and proposal submission process and Section E2 for project review and selection process). Applicants may include, but are not limited to those on this list.

Amount Description

Maximum Award $10,000,000

Minimum Award $250,000

Funding Type