Howard Hanson Dam Receives $220 Million to Protect and Restore Over 60 Miles of Salmon Habitat, Cantwell Announces

ICYMI: Senator Cantwell led WA delegation in urging Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize funding for downstream fish passage at Howard A. Hanson Dam

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation announced $220 million in funding to construct a downstream fish passage facility at the Howard A. Hanson Dam (HAHD) in the Green River Valley. This funding will help to restore Chinook and Coho salmon and steelhead populations by allowing the fish to safely navigate the dam. Completing the downstream fish passage facility will reopen more than 60 miles of the upper Green River watershed, a critical habitat for Chinook salmon which are essential to the survival of the Southern resident orcas. Once the fish passage facility is complete, projects to provide additional water storage to surrounding communities can continue.

“$220 million for the Howard Hanson Dam fish passage facility is a huge down payment for a project that will reopen at least 60 miles of prime salmon and steelhead habitat above the Dam, nearly doubling the amount of habitat that is available. Constructing this fish passage facility will help restore endangered salmon and steelhead, including Chinook,” said Cantwell.

In November 2021, nine members of the Washington Democratic congressional led by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Rep. Kim Schrier, M.D. (D, WA-08) sent a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael Connor and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Shalanda Young requesting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and OMB prioritize funding for the planned Howard A. Hanson Dam fish passage facility on the Green River as part of the $17.1 billion in funding included for the Corps in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

In February 2020, Senator Cantwell joined Representative Schrier and the entire bipartisan Washington congressional in sending a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting funding for the dam.

Senator Cantwell was the leading champion in securing a historic $2.855 billion investment in salmon recovery and ecosystem restoration programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that passed in November 2021. This funding includes a Cantwell authored provision to provide $1 billion for the U.S. Department of Transportation to create a new program aimed at removing, replacing, or restoring culverts, which enable the recovery of salmon passage and habitats.