News & Notes


Media Release: Maine Audubon Launches New Resources to Improve Road-Stream Crossings

Monday, March 23rd, 2015
Posted on:

NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

March 23, 2015

Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager
[email protected]
(207) 781-2330 x209
Mobile: (207) 838-0511

 Maine Audubon Launches New Resources to Improve Road-Stream Crossings
New training resources will be crucial as State releases bond money for culvert replacement

Old CulvertFALMOUTH – Maine Audubon and partners launched a new educational website (streamsmartmaine.org) and video training series today for municipal employees, contractors, land trusts and other groups who are working to improve road-stream crossings throughout the state. Recent surveys have found that about 40% of Maine’s stream crossings are severe barriers for fish and wildlife movement and about 90% are barriers at least part of the year for some species.

“Many of Maine’s stream culverts were put in place over 40-50 years ago,” said Barbara Charry, Maine Audubon wildlife biologist and manager of the Stream Smart training program. “These aging culverts put roads, public safety and wildlife at risk. Replacing old culverts with Stream Smart road crossings will not only reconnect fish and wildlife habitat, it will also help towns prepare for the large and frequent storm events that have been washing out roads around the state and the northeast.”

Ward Bredeau, road commissioner for the town of Phillips, Maine, noted, “As a fisherman, I know how important it is for fish to be able to move up and down stream. With the help of funding, small municipalities like ours have been able to install Stream Smart culverts. The culvert we just installed will last 100 years and improve sensitive fish habitat on the Sandy River where my son and I fish.”

Maine Audubon has offered Stream Smart trainings since 2012. The new website outlines the steps needed to implement a Stream Smart road crossing and provides guidance documents, resources and contact information for each step. The site is intended for anyone working on road-stream crossings and for professionals that work with communities, road owners and managers. The video series offers an overview of Stream Smart, field techniques for assessing a stream and five culvert and bridge construction techniques that serve as examples of Stream Smart solutions.

The approval of the water bond this past November will provide $5.4 million to towns to upgrade stream crossings. There is also a proposed $10 million bond sponsored by Representative Jeff McCabe and co-sponsored by Representative Ken Fredette (House Minority Leader) and Senator Paul Davis (the State Legislature will consider later this session), that will further fund improved road-stream crossings.

“Stream Smart road crossings also create jobs and improve Maine’s economy,” noted Matt Marks, CEO of Associated General Contractors of Maine. “Functioning stream culverts and bridges add economic value to a community, as they greatly reduce the chances of washed out roads and damage from storms, saving towns thousands of dollars in repair costs down the road.”

“To date, we have trained over 700 professionals on Stream Smart techniques,” noted Charry. “The new website and video series will supplement this training – it is important that Stream Smart training and techniques are available to towns, contractors and land owners as the state starts to release funding for culvert upgrades.”

The new Stream Smart website and video series has been made possible by a collaboration of the following organizations:

  • Maine Audubon
  • Maine Coast Heritage Trust
  • Associated General Contractors of Maine
  • Maine Department of Transportation
  • US Department of Agriculture: Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • US Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Project SHARE
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative
  • Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Maine Forest Service
  • Maine Coastal Program
  • Maine Department of Environmental Protection
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Maine Rivers

For more information, please contact Barbara Charry at [email protected] or (207) 781-2330 x225.

 

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About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon

 

 

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About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon