Jobs for Military Vets to Rebuild Fisheries

Coho salmon juveniles John McMillan | NOAA via FlickrCoho salmon juveniles: John McMillan | NOAA via Flickr

NOAA announced yesterday a plan to provide jobs and training for military vets to restore habitat and monitor fisheries in northern California. The program will be jointly run with the California Conservation Corps and and the California Department of Fish and Game.

Veterans will start the year-long job by taking courses in how to collect data. In October they’ll begin monitoring river restoration sites designed to increase spawning and rearing habitat for populations of endangered coho salmon in Humboldt, Del Norte, and Mendocino counties. The restored streams should help Chinook and steelhead trout as well. Vets will also get training and experience in firefighting.

“This is a win-win for everyone,” said Eric Schwaab, NOAA’s assistant administrator for fisheries. “Military veterans have tremendous skills to offer, and by helping to restore fish habitats they will be supporting the important role of commercial and recreational fishing in the economy. Restoration jobs pay dividends twice, first because they put people to work immediately, and then because restoration benefits our fisheries, tourism, and coastal communities for years to come.”

Sounds like a fun outdoor job. The program combines President Obama’s Veterans Job Corps Initiative and America’s Great Outdoors.

Interested veterans can call Tina Ratcliff at the California Conservation Corps at 916-341-3123, or email Training begins Monday 17 September.