(Washington, D.C.) – March 4th, U.S. Senator Patty Murray released the following statement after President Obama released his 2015 federal budget proposal, which provides $50 million in funding for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF), a cut of $15 million from the final 2014 funding level, and a potentially damaging blow to salmon restoration efforts in the Pacific Northwest.
Last year, Senator Murray secured $65 million for the PCSRF, $30 million more than the funding level proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives, and $15 million more than the Administration’s proposal. PCSRF funding has faced significant annual cuts in recent years, after receiving an average of over $80 million per year during the past decade.
“Overall, the President’s budget represents a strong commitment to our economy and the environment, but unfortunately, the proposed cuts to the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund could seriously harm a vital resource in our state,” said Senator Murray. “Even under difficult budget restraints, it’s critical that we continue to make strong federal investments in the recovery of salmon populations that have helped define our state and support our economy for generations.”
PCSRF was established by Congress in fiscal year 2000 to protect, restore and conserve Pacific salmon populations and their habitats, and to address the impacts of the Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement between the United States and Canada. PCSRF supports the conservation and recovery of Pacific salmon across the rivers, watersheds and coastal habitats they thrive in across Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, and California. Since its inception, PCSRF has supported 8,000 projects restoring 700,000 acres of salmon and steelhead habitat and opening 4,400 miles of streams to fish passage.