Bureau of Reclamation Seeking Ways to Measure Food for Threatened and Endangered Fish

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The Bureau of Reclamation is launching a $30,000 prize competition seeking improved methods to measure the food resources available for threatened and endangered fish.

The Bureau of Reclamation is launching a $30,000 prize competition seeking improved methods to measure the food resources available for threatened and endangered fish. Advancing technology for monitoring how food is available for fish species can lower the cost and improve the effectiveness of fish recovery efforts.

“Protecting and restoring river systems are vital to ensuring that watersheds are healthy and can continue to meet the West's water needs,” said Commissioner Estevan López. “Encouraging innovation and collaboration between the federal government and the private sector allows us all to do our jobs better.”

Millions of dollars are spent annually on restoration activities like changing flow regimes, reconstructing wetlands and adding natural structural elements. These efforts to improve and restore habitats are key to the recovery of salmon, trout and other critical fish species. A critical way to learn the effectiveness of habitat recovery is to measure the food resources available to fish species targeted for recovery and protection. Despite its importance, measuring food resources has proven difficult.

The top one to three submissions will receive $10,000 to $15,000 in prize money, totaling no more than $30,000. The winning solutions will help fish recovery managers evaluate the food available to impacted fish species under various habitat restoration strategies.

Reclamation is collaborating with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to lead this competition.

The prize competition closes on November 16, and winners will be announced by January 29, 2016. To submit your ideas, please visit https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933647. Learn more about the prize challenges at http://www.usbr.gov/research/challenges/.

On October 7 and 8, the Obama administration is celebrating the five-year anniversary of Challenge.gov, a historic effort by the federal government to collaborate with members of the public through incentive prizes to address our most pressing local, national, and global challenges. True to the spirit of the President’s charge from his first day in office, federal agencies have collaborated with more than 200,000 citizen solvers—entrepreneurs, citizen scientists, students, and more—in more than 440 challenges, on topics ranging from accelerating the deployment of solar energy, to combating breast cancer, to increasing resilience after Hurricane Sandy. Read more here.

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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 http://www.usbr.gov.

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Lauren Meredith
Bureau of Reclamation
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