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Expert warns of upcoming threats to democracy across the nation; Judge in Trump documents case rejects suggestions to step aside; NC businesses fear effects of 'bathroom bill'; Report says restaurants allow abuse, disease risk at MD animal farms.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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Biden Admin Provides Funds for Culvert Fixes in WA

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Monday, August 21, 2023   

Fish passage is set to improve in the Northwest with an investment from Congress's bipartisan infrastructure law.

The Biden administration has announced its first round of grants totaling $196 million to fix or remove culverts across the country. Culverts channel water under structures like roadways, but can be barriers to fish who use streams and rivers.

Michael O'Casey, deputy director of the Pacific Northwest region for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, said culverts are especially hard for young salmon and other species to pass.

"This is really an incredible opportunity to improve passage and ecological connectivity of rivers and streams here in the Northwest and across the country," O'Casey contended.

Washington will receive more than $58 million for 46 culvert projects in the state. Investments for fish passage in the infrastructure law total $2 billion dollars nationally, and will be allocated to tribal, state and local governments over the next five years.

Christy Plumer, chief conservation officer for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, said many culverts were designed only for temporary use, and called for an infrastructure improvement paradigm shift.

"When we have things like increasing storm events from a changing climate, we really wanted to see a dedicated source of funding for replacement of these culvert infrastructure and allowing more fish passage," Plumer urged.

Plumer noted the projects will also provide jobs. According to a 2021 report from the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the so-called "restoration economy" creates more than 17 jobs for every $1 million invested.

"Often rather than a 10- or 20-year life span for these projects, we're seeing a 50-year life span," Plumer stressed. "These are big infrastructure projects. They're going to bring a lot of local jobs to the local economies."

Disclosure: The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Environment, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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