Reclamation Awards $9.6 Million Contract for Fish Barrier Construction on the Blue River
Media Contact: Patricia Cox , (623) 773-6214
Jeff Riley, (623) 773-6457
For Release: October 03, 2011
The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $9.6 million contract for the construction of a fish barrier to assist in the protection and restoration of native fishes in the Blue River drainage of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, located in Greenlee and Apache counties, Ariz. The site of the proposed fish barrier is 12 miles northeast of Clifton, Ariz.
Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor says the contract has been awarded to SBBI, Inc., a small business located in Sonoita, Ariz. "This is an example of how we are creating jobs through projects that protect and sustain the species that rely on healthy ecosystems," Commissioner Connor said today. "Ecosystem restoration and environmental protection are an integral part of Reclamation?s responsibility to deliver water to the West."
Commissioner Connor says the construction of a concrete barrier and removal of non-native fish one-half mile upstream from the confluence of the San Francisco River will protect populations of threatened loach minnow and allow restoration of roundtail chub and threatened spikedace.
Using a formula developed in 2009 by the Council of Economic Advisors to calculate the impact of Federal investment, the project is anticipated to generate more than 100 direct and indirect jobs for one year.
The barrier is one of a series being constructed by Reclamation on Arizona streams to meet the environmental mitigation requirements of a 2008 biological opinion by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The biological opinion addressed possible detrimental effects on local native fish populations due to the construction and long-term operation of the Central Arizona Project.
A March 2009 draft environmental assessment, issued by Reclamation and the U.S. Forest Service, in cooperation with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, sought public input to help address key issues and possible alternatives. After consideration of all public comments received, Reclamation issued a Finding of No Significant Impact in October.
More information on the project is available online at: www.usbr.gov/lc/phoenix/reports/blueriver/brfbfea.pdf.
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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 our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.