Brunswick, ME (PRWEB) October 25, 2013
The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) is pleased to receive $174,000 for the conservation organization’s Maine Headwaters Project from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Center. The funds are being used to build two fishways on tributary streams as well as replacing two impassable road crossing culverts with fish-friendly bridges. Together, these projects are providing access to 5,400 lake acres and 69 river miles for Atlantic salmon and river herring such as alewives and blueback herring.
ASF is also proud to be a partner in an additional NOAA Fisheries grant towards restoration of the Penobscot River in the amount of $365,000. This will fund further removal of the Veazie Dam and environmental monitoring of the river. The Penobscot River Restoration Trust has raised $60 million to purchase and remove the Veazie and Great Works dams on the lower section of the Penobscot River and circumvent a third dam, the Howland. This project greatly improves access to more than 1,000 miles of habitat for wild Atlantic salmon and other sea-run fish. NOAA has already invested roughly $21 million towards this multi-year project to open up the main stem of the Penobscot River.
These NOAA grants are part of more than $6 million in funding for habitat restoration projects in Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia to restore more than 11,000 acres of habitat, and open more than 200 stream miles for fish passage. Increasingly, federal and state resource agencies in Maine have placed a higher priority on ﬁsh passage and today the majority of ASF’s projects have a team approach involving multiple agencies and partners like NOAA Fisheries.
In the United States, Atlantic salmon have been reduced from an estimated historic population of 500,000 adults to fewer than 1,500 in recent years. ASF is working diligently to increase Maine’s wild salmon population.
“With this generous grant, we will be able to further open up access to critical habitat in Maine’s salmon watersheds,” said Andrew Goode, Vice President of ASF’s U.S. programs.
In the past decade, ASF’s Maine Headwaters Project has opened up access to 291 miles of streams for salmon and other migratory fish and has restored full access to 15,000 acres of pond and lake spawning habitat for alewives. “This NOAA grant has helped to leverage more than $600,000 in public and private funding, raised by ASF, to complete these most recent fish passage projects,” said Goode.
Some of ASF’s most recent Maine Headwaters Projects include:
“ASF’s approach is to work collaboratively with willing dam owners and land stewards to craft a solution that ﬁts their needs, while allowing for restoration of Atlantic salmon and other migratory ﬁsh,” said Goode. “This work often starts with community outreach and education, followed by conceptual and ﬁnal engineering designs, permitting, construction and post-project monitoring. On average these projects take 2-3 years to complete at a cost of $50,000 to $350,000.”
The Atlantic Salmon Federation is dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon and the ecosystems on which their well-being and survival depend. ASF has a network of seven regional councils (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Maine and Western New England). The regional councils cover the freshwater range of the Atlantic salmon in Canada and the United States.
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