Finding Refuge in Restored Rivers

 

Wildlife refuges are often invisible to those who don’t seek them out. They stand on the periphery of the modern world, separated from the traffic and noise that has come to define our lives. But these havens serve an important function: not only do they provide sanctuary for animals, but they also give conservationists a chance to research, test, and develop best practices without interference from the outside world.

One of these best practices is restoring rivers to their natural state, which the Service and Partners do by upgrading aging infrastructure and using nature-like solutions to create suitable habitat for fish and wildlife. This story maps some of this work as it has been completed in the Northeast.


Since 2009, the Service and partners have removed or replaced more than 507 barriers to fish passage from Maine to West Virginia, reconnecting more than 4,020 miles of rivers and streams and 19,300 acres of wetlands. While some of this work has been supported by federal funding for Hurricane Sandy recovery, partners across the Northeast have matched the Service’s contribution at nearly 5 to 1, contributing $56.1 million to the Service’s $12.5 million to restore aquatic connectivity for wildlife and protect communities.

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