On November 14, 2022, it was announced that four regenerative non-profit organizations in the state of Maine will receive a total of $1,569,333 to restore habitats for coastal and marine species.
The projects will help revitalize Maine’s commercial and recreational fisheries and contribute to the recovery of threatened and endangered species while rebuilding resilient coastal ecosystems and communities.
The funding was awarded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“We welcome this funding, which will help to conserve and restore marine habitats and ecosystems for endangered Atlantic Salmon in waterways across Maine,” said U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King in a joint statement.
“In addition to making substantial ecological improvements, these projects will also produce significant benefits to private landowners and local communities, improve public safety, enhance opportunities for recreational and commercial fisheries, and create jobs in rural areas of the state,” they added.
This new funding was allocated as follows:
The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy received $570,000 to complete the final designs to remove Guilford Dam and restore the adjacent floodplain, which will reconnect habitat for Atlantic salmon in the Piscataquis River watershed.
The Nature Conservancy will also restore access to high-quality habitat by improving fish passage at three high-priority road crossings over streams.
Project SHARE received $444,237 to replace undersized culverts at 13 sites, connecting habitat for Atlantic salmon across multiple watersheds.
Project SHARE will also conduct fish passage feasibility studies at the Great Works Dam and Marion Falls fishway, as well as perform freshwater habitat restoration work in the Narraguagus River watershed.
The Atlantic Salmon Federation
The Atlantic Salmon Federation received $401,514 to implement five projects to restore access to Atlantic salmon spawning and rearing habitats in the Kennebec River watershed.
They will also conduct a fish passage feasibility study at the Chesterville Wildlife Management Area Dam on Little Norridgewock Stream.
The Downeast Salmon Federation
The Downeast Salmon Federation received $153,582 to support fish passage feasibility studies at the Cherryfield Ice Control Dam on the Narraguagus River and the Gardner Lake Dam on the East Machias River.
These studies will support future habitat restoration in these areas.
Funding will also support fish passage improvements at the Gardner Lake Dam.
Featured photo (courtesy of Downeast Salmon Federation) shows the Cherryfield Ice Control Dam on the Narraguagus River.