The results of Maine Audubon and The Nature Conservancy, Maine’s survey of stream crossings on Northern Maine roads are in and they’re very concerning.
With nearly 1,000 stream crossings reviewed, the survey found that about 40% of stream crossings in some watersheds are barriers to fish and wildlife movement at all times of year, and about 90% are barriers for at least part of the year. In addition, many of these crossings are vulnerable to washouts during increasingly high rainfall events resulting from a warming climate.
The two-person survey crew worked for 17 weeks and recorded data from 586 sites in the Upper Kennebec and 413 sites in the Meduxnekeag watersheds. Four high school students from New York City assisted the crew during the month of July—a great chance to help these students explore the field of conservation first hand. The next step in this important project will be mapping and prioritizing which sites should be repaired first in order to restore the most extensive and best quality aquatic habitat, and we will be sharing that data with interested landowners and municipalities so they can seek funding and make plans for needed repairs.
We thank the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust for funding and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for technical support.
– Sally Stockwell