Chris Schulz Published

Federal Funds To Help Improve Local Waterways


The Biden administration has committed to investing in the nation’s infrastructure, and that includes natural infrastructure like rivers and waterways.

The Department of the Interior announced Thursday that 40 fish passage projects will receive a total of nearly $38 million this year including projects in the mountain state.

The bipartisan infrastructure law will invest $200 million in the National Fish Passage Program over the next five years to address outdated, unsafe or obsolete dams and other barriers fragmenting our nation’s rivers and streams.

As part of the announcement, federal officials visited the Albright Power Station Dam in Preston County to discuss the dam’s removal and the positive impact it will have on neighboring communities.

Removing the obsolete dam, built in 1952 on the Cheat River, will help increase public access and recreational opportunities and improve public safety.

Engineering is underway, and removal is planned for 2023.

The state will also benefit from a Potomac Headwaters Restoration project that will remove 17 fish passage barriers across West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia.

Thursday’s announcement comes on the heels of Monday’s launch of a separate $1 billion America the Beautiful Challenge that will accelerate locally led land, water and wildlife conservation efforts across the country.