NEEDLES, AZ, April 1, 2010 -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded a $1.95 million contract for a water transmission project in west-central Arizona under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The stimulus funding will be used by C3 of Greenwood Village, Colo., to replace an outdated and inadequate water delivery system built in the early 1960s that has been used to irrigate Topock Marsh.
"This project gives us the ability to better manage our water, which will in turn equate to better care for habitat for the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, the Yuma Clapper Rail and for two endangered fish," said Secretary Salazar. "In addition jobs will be created through this project benefiting the local community in outstanding ways."
Located within Havasu NWR, which is on the California-Arizona border, Topock Marsh allows the Service to maintain a breeding and wintering area for migratory birds and other wildlife. Water is delivered currently to the marsh via a four-mile long earthen canal which suffers from a high rate of transmission loss. Additional problems have rendered the canal obsolete, such as deteriorating equipment, changes in the depth of the water table, and flow pattern of the river. The Service recently completed an environmental assessment which examined options to improve water transmission to Topock Marsh. The findings concluded this project was the most appropriate solution for the refuge.
"In these challenging economic times this project will have a major impact on the local community. Hotel stays, retail and subcontractor opportunities will all increase," said President and CEO of the Lake Havasu Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Kreuger. "A large project like this brings workers from out of town into the Lake Havasu area to spend money, and with our economy being dependent on tourism - this is a good thing."
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $3 billion to the Department of the Interior. Of that amount, $280 million went to the Service to fund job-creating investments in critical infrastructure and facilities, habitat restoration, and energy efficiency and renewable energy.
"With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For questions, comments or concerns email us at [email protected]. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.