New Energy, Old Dams: Maine to Restore Penobscot River Ecosystem

OLD TOWN, Maine – The Atlantic Salmon, a species listed as endangered in eight of Maine’s rivers, will soon have fewer migratory hurdles to handle. The Penobscot River Restoration Trust recently announced their decision to purchase three Maine river dams from the PPL Corporation. With the intent to decommission them, many hope the trust’s project will return a plethora of indigenous species to the Penobscot River.

In a recent American Rivers press release, executive director Laura Rose Day announced the purchase of the Veazie, Great Works and Howland dams, “allowing project partners to move forward with this unprecedented Project to rebalance hydropower energy and create sustainable native sea-run fisheries well into the future.”

Although Salmon in the Penobscot are not yet endangered, decrepit dams in the river significantly damage the diversity and health of fish species, as well as a variety of insects and birds. Not only is the dam removal project working to restore the river ecosystem, it also plans to increase energy production in several more efficient dams and to install fish elevators.

Dam removal should also restore the river’s significance to people. The trust expects that “riverfront communities will benefit from a restored river with healthy fisheries, improved community and economic opportunities, enhanced angling and paddling, revival of culture and tradition, and a renewed connection to the river.”

Read more here.

Source: American Rivers

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