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Updated: November 15, 2022

Atlantic salmon restoration projects get $1.5M in fed funding

Four projects aimed at restoring Atlantic salmon habitats in Maine waters will share more than $1.5 million in federal funding, according to an announcement on Monday.

The funding was awarded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for recipients including the Nature Conservancy and the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King
File photos
U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine.

“We welcome this funding, which will help to conserve and restore marine habitats and ecosystems for endangered Atlantic Salmon in waterways across Maine,” U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, said in a joint statement announcing the awards.

“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.”

Further details

The NOAA grants were allocated as follows:

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 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 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. The studies will support future habitat restoration in those areas as well as fish passage improvements at the Gardner Lake Dam.

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