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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

River Running

River Running

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Thursday, October 24, 2019/Categories: wildlife conservation, sustainability, environment

                   Atlantic Salmon in restored New England river (credit: Penobscot River Restoration Trust)

Environmental restoration has multiple meanings. Reseeding a tall-grass prairie, protecting endangered sea turtles nests, or restoring a river are different initiatives and all exciting. The removal of the 19th Century Veazie dam in Maine recently was torn down and prime fisheries began to reappear. The project was pioneered by the New England organization the Penobscot River Restoration Trust.

According to their announcement: "the Trust along with our public and private partners are working to undo more than two centuries of damage that too many dams have inflicted upon the Penobscot River. Removal of the lower two dams, the first completed in 2012, greatly improved access to nearly 1000 miles of habitat for endangered Atlantic salmon, shortnose sturgeon, American shad, alewife, and seven other species of sea-run fish in Maine. As fish passage is improved at four remaining dams and energy increased at six, these ecological benefits will be realized while maintaining or even increasing energy production. By reconnecting the river to the sea, the Penobscot Project promises large-scale ecological, cultural, recreational, and economic benefits throughout New England's second largest watershed."

Veazie Dam   (credit: Penobscot River Restoration Trust)

There are hundreds, if not more, dams nationwide, that could be removed and their blocked rivers restored without negatively affecting power generation. The environmental benefits far outweigh the costs. So tear down old dams, restore free-flowing rivers, and bring back the wild fisheries. A worth restoration goal if there ever was one.




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