New England Field Office
Conserving the Nature of New England



Federal Activities

River Flow Protection

The New England Field Office has a long history of involvement in efforts to protect and restore natural river flow regimes to New England rivers and streams.

The New England Flow Policy [PDF size 228KB] serves as a guidance document for use in the review of proposed projects that would alter river flows for hydroelectric power generation, water withdrawals or other reasons. The Flow Policy, which was developed by NEFO in 1981, has been broadly accepted as an appropriate method to determine the minimum streamflows needed to protect fish and wildlife resources in New England rivers.

NEFO applies the Flow Policy during review of FERC hydropower projects, proposed Federal water projects, operating U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control dams, and wetland permit applications.

NEFO has also been involved in the renewal of state water quality standards under the Clean Water Act, pushing for the incorporation of minimum streamflow criteria and aquatic life criteria into state standards.

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Last updated: October 30, 2009