It takes many hands to make our waters better for fish and people

Today we’re sharing a shout-out from one of our partners – Fish passage relies on partners! Thanks Garrison, and you couldn’t be more right. We’re fortunate to have incredible partners both in Maine and across the Northeast Region that are helping reconnect waters and install improved structures that benefit fish and preserve the roads and other infrastructure that communities depend upon.

Our staff out of the Gulf of Maine Coastal Program worked with the Town of Whitefield to replace an undersized culvert on Finn Brook in the Sheepscot River watershed that was causing severe road erosion and blocking fish passage. Culverts allow water to flow under roads, but when they aren’t the appropriate size, or are in need of replacement, they can lead to flooding and erosion and block any movement of fish or other animals in the waters. 

Undersized culvert

Sometimes you have to see it to believe it. Not much can fit through there, right? Imagine what happens when lots of water tries to flow through and instead erodes the land supporting the road. Not good for the road, or fish either. Credit: USFWS

We more than tripled the space for water flow by replacing a failing 3.5-foot metal culvert with a 12-foot concrete arch. Now the stream can function more naturally, more as if the road didn’t cross it at all. Fish, such as Atlantic salmon and brook trout, and other animals can pass right through it. We conducted stream simulation surveys, oversaw construction, developed restoration plans and helped the town win a grant from the Maine Water Bond for $74,000. Additional funding was provided by The Nature Conservancy, the Atlantic Salmon Federation and the Midcoast Conservancy.

whiculvert-4-2-color

Now this is more like it! A stabilized road and way more space to accommodate wildlife and water. Credit: USFWS

Fish Passage Relies on Partners
November 1, 2016 at 2:43 pm

To the editor (Lincoln County News):
Many Lincoln County residents have no doubt noticed the increased attention being given to dam and culvert projects in the region. None of these projects have happened without community support and tremendous partnerships across many sectors and agencies.

We always strive to ensure those partners are recognized for their contributions. Particularly, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made outstanding contributions to assist the town of Whitefield in the recent culvert replacement on Vigue Road.

Not only did U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff travel regularly to Whitefield from their office in Falmouth,many staff added weeks of work to this project in construction planning, design, and implementation.

Their staff completed the in-depth permits for the Army Corps of Engineers and Fish and Wildlife Service,researched and designed much of the application submitted to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection by the town of Whitefield, reviewed engineering plans, and supervised and guided construction, teaching all of us along the way.

Beyond the Vigue Road project, Fish and Wildlife Service staff have provided untold weeks of work toward our local water resources, assisting in nearly every other project which involves creating healthy, beneficial water systems.

All of this work has been, and continues to be provided at no direct cost to those they serve, contributing services to the Vigue Road project that would have otherwise easily cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.

These are the cases where government truly works to serve and support the many communities in which they work. We are forever grateful to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for contributing to these projects, and look forward to continued future partnerships.

Garrison Beck
Wiscasset

Garrison is the watershed protection specialist at the Midcoast Conservancy in Maine.

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