Tropical Storm Relief Benefits Fish and Vermonters
Madeleine Lyttle and Chris Smith, fishery biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Lake Champlain Fisheries and Wildlife Resource Office in Essex Junction, Vermont, were recognized at the National Fish Habitat Conservation meeting in Burlington, Vermont, on October 18, 2011, for their outstanding responsiveness and coordination following Tropical Storm Irene.
Once the emergency response to save lives and property was completed, the Lake Champlain office sprang into action in collaboration with local partners including the White River Partnership, Trout Unlimited, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) River Program, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to work together on stream damage assessments.
The description of the magnitude of devastation in Vermont’s rivers helped convince the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington to provide the White River Partnership with $100,000 in financial assistance to fix undersized and poorly positioned road crossing culverts to improve fish passage and to restore both river and road connectivity. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also volunteered river restoration specialists throughout the month of October 2011 to help plan and design culvert replacements and implement stream restoration projects.
This model of collaborative response made a difference in moving the objectives of the National Fish Passage Program forward in human health and safety protection combined with natural resource conservation proving, once again, what’s good for fish is good for people!
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