WASHINGTON, D.C. --Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation's Mid-Pacific Region has issued a cooperative agreement award under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The $5.25 million award is for the Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project on the Sacramento River in northern California.
The Red Bluff Diversion Dam's gates are lowered to form Lake Red Bluff, which enables the gravity diversion of water from the Sacramento River into the Tehama-Colusa and Corning Canals to irrigate 150,000 acres of high-value cropland. However, when lowered to provide irrigation water, the gates block threatened and endangered salmon, steelhead and green sturgeon, as well as other fish species, from reaching their spawning grounds.
Reclamation's managing partner, the Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority (TCCA), will receive $5.25 million in ARRA funds toward construction of an interim pumping plant to deliver irrigation water while the gates are raised, thus providing unimpeded fish passage. An additional $104.6 million in ARRA funds will be provided later for construction of a permanent pumping plant.
“Through the use of economic stimulus funds, we are protecting the region's farming economy and jobs while helping to provide safe passage for fish,” said Secretary Salazar. “This is a win-win project for both people and the environment and represents a vital component of the Obama Administration's effort to help the people of the Central Valley and other areas in California.”
Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery. Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with the Department of the Interior's Inspector General to ensure that the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility and transparency that President Obama has set.
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit Reclamation's website at www.usbr.gov.
[Editor's Note: A Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project factsheet is attached.]