What We Do
Eastern Brooke Trout l Credit: USFWS


Freshwater ecosystems are among the most threatened habitats on earth. In the U.S., they include rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands from the Cascade and Rocky Mountains to the Sierra Nevada, the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay. Many fish and aquatic species that live here face critical challenges to their survival.

NFWF has a 25-year history of action on freshwater conservation issues. We support conservation programs aimed at protecting and sustaining major river, stream, and aquatic ecosystems.


NFWF focuses on several approaches to restore and maintain freshwater species and their habitats:

  • Passage: Eliminate barriers to fish movement

  • Water quality: Reduce pollution to restore clean water

  • Water quantity: Ensure that stream flows are maintained at healthy levels

  • Spring systems: Protect springs and other unique ecosystems for freshwater species

  • Control of invasive species: Restore the natural balance of the ecosystem.

In the eastern United States, our conservation actions in the Chesapeake Bay, the Bronx River, Long Island and other locations emphasize restoring water quality;  our Western Water Program focuses on ensuring viable natural flows for freshwater species and productive land uses for people.


 Freshwater Feature Story


Penobscot Indian elder Butch Phillipps  describes how this project will restore 1000 miles of habitat for fish and wildlife.


 Freshwater Announcements


 Freshwater Due Dates

  • 6/28/2018
    Bring Back the Natives
    Pre-Proposal Deadline

  • 7/10/2018
    Acres for America
    Full Proposal Deadline

  • 7/12/2018
    Fisheries Innovation Fund
    Fisheries Innovation Fund Full Proposal Deadline

  • 7/12/2018
    Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program
    Full Proposal Deadline

  • 7/12/2018

    Full Proposal Deadline

  • 7/19/2018
    Chi-Cal Rivers Fund
    Full Proposal Deadline

  • 7/20/2018
    Bureau of Reclamation Klamath Coho Habitat Restoration Program; Klamath Basin Restoration Program; Klamath River Coho Enhancement Fund
    Combined PacifiCorp/BOR Klamath River Full Proposal Deadline

  • 7/31/2018
    Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund
    Awards Announced

  • 8/13/2018
    Russian River Coho
    Notification Deadline

  • 8/16/2018
    Lahontan Cutthroat Trout
    Full Proposal Deadline


 Featured Program



The Western Water Program ensures viable water flows for wildlife and people.

Learn more.


 Target Areas