November 2, 2018
New York, New York – The Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership (ACFHP) proudly presented Eric Anderson of Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management its 2018 Melissa Laser Habitat Conservation Award at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (Commission) 77th Annual Meeting in New York, New York on October 22nd.
Mr. Anderson has led the design and management of at least 10 large scale restoration projects in the Lake Worth Lagoon, Palm Beach County, Florida. The lagoon is situated in a highly urban coastal environment, creating unique challenges that Eric expertly addresses. Eric’s work has focused on restoration of ACFHP priority mangrove and seagrass habitats by creating in-water habitat islands. The Grassy Flats project, endorsed by ACFHP in 2012, exemplifies Eric’s talents in managing all the challenges of a successful restoration project. Grassy Flats is a 12-acre, $3.7 million seagrass, mangrove, oyster, tidal marsh restoration project that included multiple partners and grants. This project employed innovative construction methods, including a “sand-shooter” and beneficial re-use of sediments. Monitoring of fish, wildlife and vegetation two years after the completion of the project, show it is successfully providing habitat and being utilized by native wildlife. ACFHP endorsed this project based on its support of the Partnership’s restoration objectives and lagoon-wide long-term water quality benefits. The project has proved to be resilient and withstood the impacts of Hurricane Irma in 2017. Eric is currently developing two large-scale projects that will create additional mangrove and seagrass habitats.
Eric is a valued restoration partner who targets and fulfills ACFHP conservation goals, and finds innovative means to gain support, fund, and implement beneficial fish habitat projects. He also generously shares his skills and experiences with other practitioners. Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management has earned a reputation of excellence for estuarine restoration work, which is largely due to Eric’s hard work and dedication.
The Melissa Laser Fish Habitat Conservation Award is bestowed upon individuals deemed to further the conservation, protection, restoration, and enhancement of habitat for native Atlantic coastal, estuarine-dependent, and diadromous fishes in a unique or extraordinary manner. The award was established in memory of Dr. Melissa Laser who passed away unexpectedly on April 27, 2010. Melissa was a biologist with the Maine Department of Marine Resources where she worked tirelessly to protect, improve, and restore aquatic ecosystems in Maine and along the entire Atlantic coast. As an astute strategic thinker and leader, Melissa edited and coordinated the Strategic and Operational Plan for the Restoration of Diadromous and Resident Fishes to the Penobscot River. She coordinated fish passage projects, managed and oversaw the biological field staff for the Maine Western Region, and was the Bureau of Sea Run Fisheries and Habitat Program lead for habitat restoration studies and projects. She was also an effective champion for Atlantic salmon, directing and coordinating Endangered Species Act-related actions pertaining to the species. Melissa brought her smiling dedication and enthusiasm to the Commission’s Habitat Committee and ACFHP’s Steering Committee.
Mr. Pat Keliher, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Vice Chair and Dr. Laser’s former boss, presented the award. For more information, please contact Dr. Lisa Havel, ACFHP Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.842.0740.
Pat Keliher, ASMFC Vice Chair, presents the 2018 Melissa Laser Fish Habitat Conservation Award to Eric Anderson. Photo credit: T. Berger, ASMFC.
October 5, 2018
ACFHP is excited to announce that the following three projects will be receiving National Fish Habitat Action Plan funding for the 2018 fiscal year, based on our recommendations to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Seagrass Conservation Moorings in Coecles Harbor, Shelter Island, New York
For this project, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is working with partners to improve the extent and quality of the submerged aquatic vegetation in Coecles Harbor – home of the most substantial eelgrass bed remaining in any New York harbor. Traditional boat moorings use a block and chain design, which creates scour, removes eelgrass, and fragments and degrades habitat and water quality. Some of these moorings will be removed and replaced with conservation moorings, whose bungee-like design reduces impact to the bottom, allowing for eelgrass recovery and increased resiliency. The project will benefit species such as bay scallop, fluke, puffers, river herring, American eel, and striped bass.
The Columbia Dam Removal, Knowlton Township, New Jersey
The Nature Conservancy is working with partners to remove the Columbia Dam on Wynants Kill and open approximately 20 miles of streams (11 miles of mainstem and nine miles of tributaries) to migratory fish. In-stream habitat and 32 acres of floodplain will also be revegetated and restored. This project will result in healthier populations of migratory species such as American shad, river herring, sea lamprey, and American eel. It will also improve in-stream habitat for resident fishes and macroinvertebrates and improve water quality in the former impoundment.
Oyster Reef Restoration in Back Sound, Rachel Carson Reserve, Beaufort, North Carolina
East Carolina University and partners will use this funding to restore 0.11 acres of intertidal oyster reefs, protecting 3 acres of currently eroding and remnant salt marsh on Carrot Island. The project will benefit species such as red and black drum, flounder, Atlantic sharpnose and bonnethead sharks, spotted sea trout, black sea bass, stone and blue crabs, and diamond back terrapins. Back Sound is a popular area for recreational fishermen, K-12, and undergraduate school groups, who will all benefit from the restoration.
ACFHP Announces FY2019 Funding Available for Habitat Conservation Projects
August 7, 2018
The Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership (ACFHP) is requesting project applications to restore and conserve habitat necessary to support coastal, estuarine-dependent, and diadromous fish species along the Atlantic Coast. Federal funding available under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan will be used to support the top ranked proposals. To ensure available funding is being directed most effectively, projects should be geared toward meeting ACFHP’s protection and restoration objectives described in its new Conservation Strategic Plan. The maximum amount available for an individual project is $50,000. These funds can only be used for on-the-ground habitat conservation and improvement projects and related design and monitoring activities.
Applications must be received by Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at midnight for consideration.
For complete information and guidelines on how to apply please visit: http://www.atlanticfishhabitat.org/fy2019-atlantic-coastal-fish-habitat-partnership-application-cycle/ or look at the upcoming funding under ‘opportunities’ on the ACFHP website.
June 11, 2018
The Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership (ACFHP) is excited to announce its new collaboration with RepYourWater, Beyond the Pond, and Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (EBTJV) to further support fish habitat conservation along the Atlantic coast. Starting now, 3% of all proceeds from RepYourWater merchandise featuring Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New England, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia will go directly to ACFHP and EBTJV via Beyond the Pond. In addition, RepYourWater donates 10% of proceeds from its conservation collection to their conservation partners, which includes Beyond the Pond. That translates to even more funding support for the 20 Fish Habitat Partnerships, including ACFHP.
RepYourWater is a Colorado-based angling and hunting gear company founded by the husband and wife team of Garrison and Corinne Doctor. The company is dedicated to improving wildlife habitat around the country through the sale of unique high-quality apparel and merchandise.
Shop the ACFHP-EBTJV collection here: https://www.repyourwater.com/collections/atlantic, then join the 198,000 Instagrammers hashtagging #repyourwater in your new gear!