Hydropower Program

Alaska is in a unique position relative to most other regions in having robust and viable fish stocks and diverse populations of marine mammals, combined with the aggressive pursuit of new hydropower development throughout the state. NMFS reviews proposed and existing hydropower and hydrokinetic projects in cooperation with applicants and operators, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), other federal agencies, the State of Alaska, tribes, and communities. NMFS reviews proposed projects throughout the licensing phase and develops recommended license terms and conditions necessary to protect, mitigate damage to, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat affected by hydropower project construction and operation. NMFS also reviews existing hydropower projects, usually on an annual basis, to determine if project operations are meeting goals for protection of NMFS trust species or if adaptive management is necessary.

Section 10(j) of the Federal Power Act (FPA) authorizes NMFS to recommend license terms and conditions necessary to protect, mitigate damage to, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat affected by hydropower projects. Section 18 of the FPA provides NMFS authority to issue mandatory fishway prescriptions. In addition, NMFS has responsibilities related to FERC proceedings derived from the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

Projects

Additional Information

Studies and Reports

Agencies

Resources

Contact Information

Sue Walker
Fish Biologist, Hydropower Coordinator
Phone: (907) 586-7646
Email: Susan.Walker@noaa.gov

Sean Eagan
Hydrologist
Phone: (907) 586-7345
Email: Sean.Eagan@noaa.gov