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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Millions in Federal Money for Culvert Fixes in Alaska

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Wednesday, August 23, 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 such as 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 emphasized.

Alaska will receive more than $44 million for 45 projects in the state, second only to Washington state's 46 projects. Investments for fish passage in the infrastructure law total $2 billion 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 stressed.

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 one million dollars invested.

"Often rather than a 10- or 20-year life span for these projects, we're seeing a 50-year life span," Plumer reported. "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 Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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