Collins and King announce over $1.5 million for Atlantic salmon habitat restoration projects

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WASHINGTON DC

WASHINGTON, DC – US Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Angus King, I-Maine announced that four conservation organizations will receive a total of $1,569,333 to restore habitats for coastal and marine species in Maine, help support our nation’s fisheries, contributing to the recovery of threatened and endangered species and building resilient coastal ecosystems and communities. Funding was provided through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Nature Conservancy received $570,000 to complete final plans to remove the Guilford Dam and restore the adjacent floodplain, which will reconnect Atlantic salmon habitat to the Piscataquis River watershed. The Nature Conservancy will also restore access to high-quality habitat by improving fish passage at three priority road crossings over streams.

“We welcome this funding, which will help conserve and restore habitats and marine ecosystems for endangered Atlantic salmon in Maine’s waterways,” Collins and King said in a joint statement. “In addition to delivering substantial ecological improvements, these projects will also produce significant benefits for private landowners and local communities, improve public safety, increase recreational and commercial fishing opportunities, and create jobs in rural areas of the state.”

The funding was also distributed as follows:

The SHARE project received $444,237 to replace undersized culverts at 13 sites, connecting Atlantic salmon habitat across multiple watersheds. The SHARE project will also conduct fish passage feasibility studies at the Great Works Dam and the Marion Falls fish pass, as well as freshwater habitat restoration work in the river catchment. Narraguagus.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation received $401,514 to implement five projects aimed at restoring access to Atlantic salmon spawning and nursery 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 Creek.

The Downeast Salmon Federation received $153,582 to support fish passage feasibility studies at Cherryfield Ice Control Dam on the Narraguagus River and Lake Gardner Dam on the East Machias River. These studies will support future habitat restoration in these areas. Funding will also support improved fish passage at Gardner Lake Dam.

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