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Streams are important habitat for fish and many other wildlife. Each time a road crosses a stream, a bridge or culvert is built to get the water from one side of the road to the other. Surveys show that up to 90% of culvert crossings make movement difficult or impossible for many wildlife at least part of the year, while nearly 40% are severe barriers to wildlife movement. This type of habitat fragmentation can result in the loss of species including the highly-prized fish species like Eastern brook trout and Atlantic salmon.
Maine Audubon in partnership with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and many other partners have been hosting workshops around the state to promote better designs for stream crossings that protect roads, safety and habitat. The goal is to let the stream act like a stream and make the road invisible to the stream.
Additional project partners include the Maine Coastal Program, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, NOAA, US Fish & Wildlife Service, USDA NRCS, Maine Forest Service, Maine Rivers, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, Project Share, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, US Army Corp.
Materials for our Stream-Smart workshop participants can be found here.
Barbara Charry – Biologist and GIS Manager