Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Gulf of Maine Coastal Program Leads Stream-Smart Road Crossing Workshops
Northeast Region, January 13, 2012
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Road-Stream Crossing training in Milford, Maine.
Road-Stream Crossing training in Milford, Maine. - Photo Credit: NRCS

Gulf of Maine Coastal Program staff are supporting a statewide effort in Maine to educate professionals responsible for road-stream crossings on how to improve stream habitat by creating better crossings. The workshops will cover road-stream crossing projects from site assessment to permitting and installation. Alex Abbott (GIS and aquatic connectivity specialist) and Jed Wright (Senior Biologist) are working with Maine Audubon and other partners to develop and present the workshops this winter. The group is hosting these Stream-Smart Road Crossing Workshops in four regions of the state to inform public and private road owners about opportunities to replace aging and undersized culverts with designs that last longer, improve stream habitat, save money on maintenance, and can reduce flooding. Based on their experience with crossing assessments and implementing stream connectivity projects they have helped develop workshop curriculum and presentations. Alex will be training participants on the ecological implications of road crossings at two of the workshops. Among those registering for these workshops are town road commissioners, public works directors, contractors, forest landowners, foresters, loggers, engineers, conservation commissions, watershed groups and land trusts.

The Gulf of Maine Coastal Program has been leading work in Maine since 2006 to coordinate, survey, and build a statewide database on barriers to fish passage at stream crossings. Jed Wright and Alex Abbott have been at the forefront of developing innovative approaches to prioritize fish passage barriers and stream habitats to strategically direct funding for aquatic restoration projects. Coastal Program staff collaborate with a wide variety of state, federal and nongovernmental organizations, and are excited to be part of a new and important educational effort they hope will have ripple effects for years to come. Passing on our knowledge to others to improve stream habitats in Maine is vital to the Coastal Program's work, and central to the Service's mission.

Contact Info: Mao Lin, (207) 781-8364 x15, mao_lin@fws.gov
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