Washington, DC – The National Fish Habitat Board today released the second edition of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (Action Plan), setting forth a mission-critical approach to conserving the nation’s aquatic resources for the future. The original National Fish Habitat Action Plan, created in 2006, carried a great vision forward to protect, restore and enhance aquatic habitats through partnerships. While the original Plan met its objectives set forth in 2010, the mission and goals of the plan remain the same and are the foundation of the second edition of the Plan for 2012 and beyond.
The second edition of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan is built on the foundation of advancing the conservation practices of the individual National Fish Habitat Partnerships, the working units of the National Fish Habitat Partnership. The five new objectives in the Plan include:
- Achieve measurable habitat conservation results through strategic actions of Fish Habitat Partnerships that improve ecological condition, restore natural processes, or prevent the decline of intact and healthy systems leading to better fish habitat conditions and increased fishing opportunities.
- Establish a consensus set of national conservation strategies as a framework to guide future actions and investment by the Fish Habitat Partnerships by 2013.
- Broaden the community of support for fish habitat conservation by increasing fishing opportunities, fostering the participation of local communities – especially young people – in conservation activities, and raising public awareness of the role healthy fish habitats play in the quality of life and economic well-being of local communities.
- Fill gaps in the National Fish Habitat Assessment and its associated database to empower strategic conservation action supported by broadly available scientific information, and integrate socio-economic data in the analysis to improve people’s lives in a manner consistent with fish habitat conservation goals.
- Communicate the conservation outcomes produced collectively by Fish Habitat Partnerships as well as new opportunities and voluntary approaches for conserving fish habitat to the public and conservation partners.
The second edition of the Action Plan details how the new objectives will be implemented. The Plan also highlights conservation “Partnership in Action” stories from Fish Habitat Partnerships to provide insight into their work on the ground. Other sections explain the functions of the National Fish Habitat Board and Partnerships and the critical role of science and data and effective communications to guide activities. Interesting facts and figures related to the National Fish Habitat Partnership, recreational and commercial fishing fill out the rest of the Plan.
“The revised Action Plan is built on the success and experiences of our Partners,” said Kelly Hepler, Chairman of the National Fish Habitat Board and Assistant Commissioner, Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “Creating and maintaining these Partnerships is the foundation of the Action Plan and will be the primary focus as we address conservation needs for our nation’s waterways now and into the future.”
The National Fish Habitat Board, Fish Habitat Partnerships, federal and state natural resource agencies, conservation organizations and the National Fish Habitat Partner Coalition participated in the selection process of the revised Plan objectives. The release of the revised Action Plan coincides with the launch of the updated National Fish Habitat Partnership website at www.fishhabitat.org.
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About the National Fish Habitat Partnership
The National Fish Habitat Partnership (www.fishhabitat.org) works to conserve fish habitat nationwide—leveraging federal, state and private funding sources to achieve the greatest impact on fish populations through priority conservation projects. The national partnership implements the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and supports 18 regional grassroots partner organizations.