More and more, people recognize that fish are a barometer of the health of our environment. When fish habitats fail, it’s an indicator of broader issues that may impact other species, including humans.
The adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings particularly true here. Fixing damaged watersheds and habitats is far more costly than protecting those that are pristine and intact. The more we can do to protect and enhance vital watersheds, the better.
The National Fish Habitat Action Plan is a voluntary effort aimed at restoring habitats that have been damaged and protecting others that are healthy. This effort spans the entire country including Hawaii and seeks to create productive partnerships aimed at the conservation of targeted and important aquatic habitats.
The Action Plan applies a strategic science-based approach that embraces a wide base of volunteers and partners including: anglers, sport fishing clubs, farmers, government agencies and entities, Native American tribes, industry and many others. Together, these partnerships work to identify the potential risks to and causes of deteriorating fish habitats and develop long-term solutions aimed at reversing those declines.
For anglers, success with this plan means better fishing and expanded fishing opportunities. It’s no wonder that dozens of recreational fishing groups and tens of thousands of anglers have joined this initiative to improve fish habitat and water quality.
Currently, there are 18 regional partnerships that are producing real results on behalf of Action Plan. They are:
The scope of this campaign to restore and revitalize fish habitat is growing and expected to continue its growth as more and more communities realize the benefits of these efforts. The Action Plan has already made tremendous headway in cleaning up and preserving essential habitats in a number of U.S. rivers and streams.
10 Waters to Watch
Each year The National Fish Habitat Action Plan creates a list of “Waters To Watch.” These are rivers and streams that will be cleaner because of work involved in the Action Plan. These waters are visible reminders of how well partnerships like those in the Action Plan can be. This list was initiated in 2007, and for 2012, the “10 Waters To Watch List” features :
The National Fish Habitat Action Plan is an exciting and important cooperative that relies on volunteers coming together to do something good for our natural resources. You’re encouraged to learn more, participate and support the National Fish Habitat Action Plan. For more information or to volunteer, please visit: www.fishhabitat.org.
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