New England fish passage projects among 36 slated by feds

December 15, 2022 GMT

BANGOR. Maine (AP) — Fish passage projects in four New England slated are among three dozen slated for funding by the federal government.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has recommended more than $100 million for fish passage projects around the country as part of a federal infrastructure law. Federal officials said Wednesday the projects are designed to reopen migratory pathways and restore access to habitat for fish.

The effort includes projects in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The Maine Department of Marine Resources is slated to received up to $14.8 million to design and implement a fish lift at Woodland Dam on the St. Croix River that would provide access to 60,000 acres of habitat for alewife, NOAA officials said.

Another project would restore access to 238 miles of habitat in the Ipswich and Parker River watersheds in Massachusetts, NOAA officials said. The project would benefit herring and eels and is slated for more than $2 million in funding, officials said.

Maine Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins said in a joint statement that allowing unimpeded fish migration along Maine rivers “will help to preserve species that have long held cultural and economic significance to our state.”