Building a Stronger Coast
People Behind a Stronger Coast: Eric Derleth

Eric Derleth, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coordinator of the Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, shows Rebecca Wodder, former Senior Advisor to Secretary of the Interior, a photo of a dam removed in 2012.

June 12, 2015 - Eric Derleth has been given unprecedented opportunities to contribute to conservation over the course of his 37-year career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Currently as Coordinator of the Partners for Fish and Wildlife program with the Service, Derleth is overseeing four projects in Massachusetts supported by Hurricane Sandy resilience funding. Three of the four - Muddy Creek, Parkers River and Round Hill - are tidal marsh restoration projects. The fourth is removal of the West Britannia Dam on the Mill River in Taunton, Mass. These projects will restore coastal salt marsh health and natural tidal flow, allow fish passage and aid in public safety through some of the $15.6 million dollars the Service is investing in Massachusetts from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013.

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More about Hurricane Sandy-funded projects


Eric Derleth, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coordinator of the Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, shows Rebecca Wodder, former Senior Advisor to Secretary of the Interior, a photo of a dam removed in 2012. Credit: Jan Rowan/USFWS


Prime Hook Refuge Marsh Restoration Begins

Aerial view of the extensive flooding at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge experienced during Hurricane Sandy. This photo is looking north from the Prime Hook Beach community toward Slaughter Beach. The federally funded Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge barrier beach and marsh restoration project begins in June.

June 12, 2015 - The first phase of a $38 million marsh restoration project at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Milton, Del. is expected to begin next week. Efforts will carve out marsh drainage channels, repair breached marshes and reconstruct severely damaged shoreline, including critical dune restoration along approximately 4,000 acres of back-barrier tidal marsh along the Delaware Bay. Al Rizzo, project leader for the Coastal Delaware National Wildlife Refuge Complex, says restored marshes at the refuge will provide a more resilient coast against future storms and create additional habitat for birds, including American oystercatchers and federally listed species such as rufa red knots and piping plovers. These investments will also help protect adjacent and nearby communities such as Milton and Milford. Work is expected to be completed by next spring.

News Release
More about Hurricane Sandy funded projects at Prime Hook


Aerial view of the extensive flooding at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge experienced during Hurricane Sandy, looking north from the Prime Hook Beach community toward Slaughter Beach. The federally funded Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge barrier beach and marsh restoration project begins in June. Credit: USFWS


Region-wide Study Identifies Bridges and Culverts for Repair Across the Northeast

An example of a perched culvert that sits above water, making it more difficult for fish to swim upstream.

June 9, 2015 - The devastating impacts of storms such as Hurricane Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene exemplify how extreme storm events can overwhelm and damage outdated road-stream crossings -- typically bridges and culverts. To address the effects, from flooding to impacts on fish and other aquatic species, the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC) is working to identify and prioritize replacement and repair of culverts to withstand future floods and improve fish passage in the Northeast region. The NAACC is a partnership of universities, nonprofits, transportation agencies, and federal and state resource managers supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative with federal funding for Hurricane Sandy recovery.

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More about the NAACC
More about the Hurricane Sandy funded bridge and culvert study

An example of a perched culvert that sits above water, making it more difficult for fish to swim upstream. These types of road-stream crossings are the focus of a study to reconnect streams and improve fish passage from Maine to West Virginia. Credit: University of Massachusetts, Amherst


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Last updated: May 1, 2015