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Renewing Diadromous Fish Passage, Patten Stream, Maine
This project will install a nature-like fishway at a slightly undersized road crossing in Surry, Maine. This fishway will restore access to 20 stream miles and 1,200 alewife spawning acres. It will also enhance passage for sea-run brook trout, American eels, and is located in Critical Habitat for Atlantic salmon. For more information on this project, click here or contact Thomas Welgoss, Surry Treasurer.
Project text and photo provided by the Town of Surry.
Restoring Diadromous Fish Passage and Habitat to Shoreys Brook, Maine
This project, located in South Berwick, ME restored approximately 800 feet of habitat for diadromous fish species and enhanced approximately 4.3 miles of habitat in Shoreys Brook. A partially‐breached dam was completely removed and the stream bed was restored to its approximate original condition. A failing perched culvert was restored with an open‐arch culvert. For more information on this project please click here or contact Darrell DeTour.
Project text and photo provided by Great Works Regional Land Trust.
Oyster Reef Restoration in Great Bay Estuary, Rockingham County, New Hampshire
As ecosystem engineers, oysters play a significant role in maintaining a healthy and stable environment and providing habitat for estuarine-dependent and migratory fishes. However, like many coastal regions around the world, Great Bay Estuary in Rockingham County, New Hampshire has experienced a recent reduction in adult oyster populations. This project will help mitigate these losses by adding 400,000 oysters to the estuary, restoring 2 acres of reef in an area that has seen a 90% reduction in oyster habitat since 1970. For more information on this project please click here or contact Ray Konisky.
Project text and photo provided by The Nature Conservancy.
Cotton Gin Mill Dam Removal and Fish Passage Project in the Satucket River, Massachusetts
Dams and other barriers rank as the top threat to river herring populations. One of these dams, the Cotton Gin Mill Dam on the Satucket River in East Bridgewater, MA blocks fish passage and hinders natural processes like sediment movement and temperature regulation. This project will remove the dam to allow river herring and American eel access to 124 acres of habitat and 4.4 river miles upstream. For more information on this project please click here or contact Cathy Bozek, Aquatic Ecologist.
Project text and photo provided by The Nature Conservancy.
Eelgrass Restoration with Conservation Moorings in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts
Eelgrass meadows support complex trophic food webs and provide habitat for the forage, shelter and juvenile development of fisheries species. However, this habitat is declining in part due to damage from boating infrastructure. Traditional mooring chains drag on the seafloor, causing direct scour of eelgrass plants and degradation to the quality and function of eelgrass beds through increased turbidity. The project restored 0.2 acres of eelgrass (Zostera marina) by replacing traditional moorings with elastic conservation moorings that minimize impacts to the seafloor by preventing chain drag. For more information on this project please click here or contact Tay Evans, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.
Please note, the mooring of boats and the establishment of mooring fields in seagrass beds is generally recognized as a significant source of damage to these important ecological communities across their range. As such, the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership only provided support to specific remediation actions at this and other designated project sites, which address historic damage caused by the scouring effects of traditional chain and block-anchor mooring systems.
Project text provided in part by Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.
Photo credit: T. Evans, 2010.
Conservation Boat Mooring Retrofitting, Jamestown, Rhode Island
Seagrass, a valuable spawning and nursery habitat for many fish and invertebrate species, is declining worldwide, and the waters around Rhode Island are no exception. Seagrass is vulnerable to a number of boating related activities, including the use of traditional chain moorings. Traditional moorings can drag on the seafloor, severely damaging habitat through physical removal of the seagrass shoots. To restore seagrass, the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership worked with partners to replace four traditional moorings with conservation boat moorings. Conservation moorings use a buoyant bungee-like cord to minimize contact with the seafloor, reducing habitat damage. For more information on this project please view the in depth project fact sheet or contact Chris Powell, Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership.
Photo credit: C. Powell.
Improving Fish Passage Through the Removal of the Bradford Dam, Pawcatuck River, Westerly, Rhode Island
The Wood-Pawcatuck River Watershed is one of the most important coastal watersheds in southeastern New England, and one of the most undeveloped intact areas between New York City and Boston. This watershed is of significant regional importance to diadromous fish populations including alewife, blueback herring, American shad, and American eel. While water quality is suitable to support self-sustaining populations of resident fish in this watershed, these migratory (diadromous) populations are threatened by degraded habitat caused by dams, which have obstructed fish passage and caused river fragmentation. This project will replace the Bradford Dam with a step-pool nature-like fishway. It will open 32 river miles and providing access from the estuary to spawning and nursery habitat in the headwaters of Worden Pond. Removal will not only improve fish passage, but will improve flood resiliency by eliminating the risk of destructive flooding as a result of dam failure. For more information on this project please view the in depth project fact sheet or contact John O’Brien, The Nature Conservancy Rhode Island.
Photo credit: J. O’Brien, 2015.
Expanding Marine Meadow Habitat in the Peconic Estuary, NY
Marine meadows play an important role in providing ecosystem services while serving as preferred or essential habitat for a wide array of native fish species. In New York waters, it is estimated that over 80% of eelgrass habitat has been lost since the 1930’s due to natural and anthropogenic causes. To address the need to re-establish submerged aquatic vegetation in the Peconic Estuary, areas suitable for eelgrass restoration were identified and restoration planting was conducted. The public had opportunities to take part in these restoration efforts through participation in two land-based workshops. For more information on this project please view the in depth project fact sheet or contact Kimberly Barbour, Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Project text and photo provided by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County.
Scoy Pond and Staudinger’s Pond Alewife
Access and Habitat Enhancement, New York
In Northwest Creek, a channel was constructed and an overflow pipe was replaced with a weir to allow fish passage into Staudinger’s Pond. In Alewife Brook, an undersized culvert was replaced and stream debris was removed to allow fish passage into Scoy Pond and to improve tidal flow. Additionally in Alewife Brook, invasive Phragmites were removed and the surrounding habitat was enhanced. This project ultimately restored access to approximately 18 acres of diadromous fish spawning and maturation habitat and enhanced the ecologic function of nearly 1000 acres of estuarine habitat. For more information on this project click here or contact: Julie Nace, NYSDEC/PEP.
Project text and photo provided by NYSDEC/PEP.
James River Atlantic Sturgeon
Habitat Restoration, Virginia
A lack of clean, hard substrate has been noted as a limiting factor for the restoration of many anadromous species in the James River. The loss of this ideal spawning habitat is due to dredging and excess sediment entering the river from erosion. This project promoted the population of Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) and other anadromous fishes of the Chesapeake Bay through the restoration of spawning and nursery habitat. For more information on this project please click here or contact Charles Frederickson, James River Association.
Project text and photo provided by James River Association.
Cape Fear River Fisheries Enhancement Project, North Carolina
The Cape Fear River was one of the most productive rivers for sturgeon and American shad in North Carolina at the beginning of the 20th century, but current commercial landings are 87% lower than historic estimates. This project provided spawning habitat for these species by enhancing approximately 0.5 acres of riverine spawning habitat (1,000 tons of gravel), which in turn facilitated 32 miles of larval rearing habitat. Funding from NFHP-US Fish and Wildlife Service went towards biological monitoring and side-scan sonar analysis to both ensure the project was a success and to inform future projects with similar enhancement goals. For more information on this project click here or contact Dawn York, Dial Cordy and Associates.
Project text and photos provided by Cape Fear River Watch.
The shoreline of Stump Sound, Holly Ridge, North Carolina has been experiencing erosion from boat wakes and storms, and degradation to due dredging, shoreline hardening, and high harvest pressure on natural reefs. This reduces the amount of available habitat for estuarine-dependent species. This project will protect 200 ft. of estuarine shoreline in the sound by restoring both fringing oyster reef and tidal salt marsh. For more information on this project click here or contact Ted Wilgis, North Carolina Coastal Federation.
Project text and photos provided by North Carolina Coastal Federation
Goose Creek Dam Eel Passage
Restoration, South Carolina
Two eel ladders were built at the Goose Creek Dam,
which restored eel passage to the entire Goose Creek watershed including over 40 stream miles and adjacent freshwater wetlands. For more information on this project click here or contact: Bill Post, SCDNR.
Project text provided by SCDNR and photos provided by P. Brownell, NMFS.
Shoreline and Spartina Marsh stabilization
along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway,
This project rehabilitated tidal marsh areas experiencing degradation from boat traffic along the Intracoastal Waterway, within the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve, by constructing natural breakwaters using oyster reefs. Results of the project include: increased fish habitat, stabilized shoreline, improved water quality, and increased public awareness. For more information on this project please click here or contact Nancy Hadley.
Project text and photo provided by the SCDNR.
Restoring Coastal Fish Habitat Using Oysters, Mussels, and Marsh Grass at Guana Peninsula, FL
This project, located specifically at Wright’s Landing, in the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, aimed to restore and enhance fish habitat by preventing shoreline erosion and promoting shoreline accretion using a combination of mussel and oyster-based living shorelines. Combined with Spartina alterniflora planting, living shorelines have stopped or reversed erosion and provided critical habitats for plants, fishes, and invertebrates. Specifically, restored marsh and reef provide nursery and feeding habitat for forage fishes (mummichog, silversides) that utilize emergent salt marsh habitats, as well as juvenile commercial and recreational species (drum, shrimp) that utilize oyster reef and shallow nearshore habitats. For more information on this project please view the in-depth project fact sheet or contact Kelly Smith, University of North Florida.
Project text provided by Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. Photo provided by Matt Kimball.
Restoring the Mangroves of the Indian
River Lagoon, Florida
The Indian River Lagoon is a 251-km bar-built coastal estuary that covers an area of approximately 3,575 square kilometers. It supports coastal mangrove wetlands, salt marshes, intertidal and subtidal flats, and riparian wetland and floodplains, which provide important habitat to numerous fish species. Unfortunately, the rate of shoreline and wetland destruction has increased, due to decades of urbanization and the spread of invasive plant species. This project restored over 10 acres of coastal habitat wetlands to the Lagoon. For more information on this project please click here or contact the Marine Resources Council of East Florida.
Project text and photo provided by the Marine Resources Council of East Florida.