Ecological Services
Northeast Region
Partners Program News and Highlights

Partners marked the millionth foot of fencing with a decorated post. Credit: USFWS

Partners celebrate 1 million feet of conservation fence in West Virginia

May 20, 2013

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Trout Unlimited, working in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency, West Virginia Conservation Agency, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, numerous non-governmental organizations and many landowners, have installed more than 1 million feet of conservation fence throughout the state of West Virginia. Conservation fencing projects provide a "win-win" for farmers, wildlife, and agencies across the landscape. Livestock exclusion fencing is a conservation tool that helps to keep nutrients on the farm and reduces nutrient input into streams and upland forest throughout the watershed.

News release
More about the W.V. Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program

The crowd watches as an excavator removes the first piece of Bartlett Rod Shop Company Dam
The crowd watches as an excavator removes the first piece of Bartlett Rod Shop Company Dam. Credit: USFWS

Officials and communities kick off dam removal in Pelham, Mass.

October 22, 2012

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff joined partners on October 17 at the Bartlett Rod Shop Company Dam on Amethyst Brook, which feeds into the Fort River and eventually the Connecticut River. The removal of the dam will re-open a half mile of coldwater habitat for the American eel, sea lamprey, eastern brook trout and other fish, and it will also restore natural river functions that benefit freshwater mussels, including the endangered dwarf wedgemussel. The majority of the project was funded by $158,091 from a 2004 settlement between federal and state environmental agencies and the Holyoke Water Power Company and the City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department for damages to natural resources from coal tar contamination. The Service, through its Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, provided an additional $40,000 and technical assistance.

News release

Community members and partners on a tour of the former site of Hopewell Mills Dam, which is now under restoration
Community members and partners on a tour of the former site of Hopewell Mills Dam, which is now under restoration. Credit: Russ Cohen

Partners celebrate completed dam removal in Taunton, Mass.

October 22, 2012

Federal and state environmental officials, local partners and community members gathered October 19 to celebrate the recent removal of the Hopewell Mills Dam on the Mill River in eastern Massachusetts. The removal, benefiting river herring, shad and American eels, is the first step in a project to reconnect 30 miles of tributaries by removing three dams on the Mill River and providing a structure to pass fish across a fourth dam. The Service's New England Partners For Fish and Wildlife Program has been on the team completing planning, design and implementation of the project.


Community members and partners on a tour of the former site of Hopewell Mills Dam, which is now under restoration
Partners meet with a landowner in a USDA-NRCS Working Lands for Wildlife project. Credit: USFWS

Restoration planning continues for rare rabbit

October 22, 2012

Partners met in October at Clarence Fahnestock State Park in New York to discuss identifying potential private landowner partners for habitat management and to visit a USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service Working Lands for Wildlife project in Dutchess County.

Restoration plan for Herring River in Mass. moves forward

October 15, 2012

The Herring River Restoration Committee, which includes the Service's New England Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, has developed a restoration plan for the Herring River in Wellfleet and Truro, Mass. The 1,100-acre project on outer Cape Cod has the potential of becoming the largest tidal restoration project in the Northeast. On October 12, the National Park Service released an evaluation of the plan, called a draft environmental impact statement, that includes alternatives for the project. The Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, as cooperating agencies, have worked closely with Wellfleet and Truro towns, and the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration in preparing the statement.

Environmental impact statement

NY town restores stream damaged by Irene

October 15, 2012

The Service's New York Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program worked with the Town of Oneonta to stabilize a 1,200-foot section of the Charlotte Creek in Otsego County. In its manually guided channel through the town's playing fields, the stream was vulnerable to Tropical Storm Irene and other flooding events, but the stream now follows a self-regulating, natural meandering pattern under thick forest.

Similar projects

Clifford Branch dam removal
Clifford Branch dam during removal.
Conor Bell/USFWS

Dam Removal Will Open Brook Trout Stream in Frederick County, Maryland

September 13, 2012

Federal and local officials kicked off the removal of Clifford Branch dam on September 11, a project that will open three miles of habitat for brook trout, Chesapeake Bay watershed's only native trout. The dam once provided drinking water for the City of Frederick but has been out of use and a restriction on water levels and fish movement. Following the dam removal, restoration work will return the stream to a natural, stable and self-maintaining state.

More information

installation of rock riffle
Carl Schwartz, private lands coordinator, directs contractor installation of rock riffle.
Credit: M. Naley

Restoration begins at NY's AuSable River

August 27, 2012

Close to 3,000 feet of the AuSable River are being reconstructed using toewood and rock riffles. Trout Unlimited, AuSable River Association, Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District, Rivermede Farm, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are supporting the project with time, materials, and/or funding to complete the project. This project has been in the planning stage with the Natural Resource Conservation Service, TU and the Corps of Engineers for more than 15 years. Using the Service's design, the project will be completed in four weeks at a fraction of the original estimated price.

Phragmites, or common reed, is a tall grass that aggressively invades wetlands.
Credit: Eric Schrading/USFWS

Biologists survey success of invasive plant control in N.J.

The Partners program assessed seven marsh wetland areas that were treated for invasive phragmites (common reed) plants along the Mullica River in Ocean County. All project sites had between 50 and 70 percent reduction in the invasive plants, which were replaced with 12 different native types of plants.


Justin Laughlin, VDGIF Project Coordinator demonstrating riparian tree planting techniques to AmeriCorp volunteers
Justin Laughlin, VDGIF Project Coordinator demonstrating riparian tree planting techniques to AmeriCorp volunteers. Credit: USFWS

Pennington Gap project improves river for wildlife and adds recreation opportunities

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners completed a stream restoration project on the North Fork Powell River in southwest Virginia's Pennington Gap this past month. The project used natural channel design to guide restoration of more than 700 feet of the river flowing through Leeman Field Park. The river bank eroded and in-stream habitat was lost from channel instability, changes in stormwater runoff, and loss of plants along the streambank.

Learn more

Bog turtle habitat
Restoring bog turtle habitat
Credit: USFWS

Partners connects bog turtle habitat in N.J.

Eric Schrading with the Service's New Jersey Field Office worked at the end of April with a private landowner and the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority to restore close to a mile of land between two bog turtle wetlands and develop a wooded corridor for travel and protection.

tree planting
Thousands of tree seedlings are planted, restoring forested wetalands in Somerset county, MD.
Credit: Brian Jennings/USFWS

Restoring Forested Wetlands on Maryland's Eastern Shore

The Chesapeake Bay Field Office is working with a private landowner in Somerset County to restore 1,800 acres of forested wetlands. Of those, 265 acres of former monotypic stands of loblolly pine are being replanted with hardwoods, 12 acres with Atlantic white cedar and 15 acres with bald cypress, a total of about 140,000 seedlings.

Learn more

Photo of completed weir at Lake Tecumseh
Weir installed at Lake Tecumseh
Credit: USFWS

Data show success of Lake Tecumseh project

Water quality, water levels and vegetation in this Virginia Beach lake have improved this past year, following the completion of two weirs (small structures that maintain water levels). The Partners project has led to improved recreational opportunities and habitat for fish, crabs and waterfowl.

News article
More about the project

Officials and partners begin planning future of Rhode Island rivers

Service biologists are helping the Rhode Island River Restoration Workgroup review and develop a white paper that will focus on restoring the ecological health of Rhode Island's rivers. The guide will include priorities and recommendations for funding, regulation, planning and policy, and legislation.

Old Oaken Bucket Pond and fish ladder
Credit: USFWS

Improving water for fish and people in coastal Massachusetts

The Partners program at the New England Field Office is working with partners to manage water supply in Scituate, Mass., to help restore river herring runs and improve flows in stream. The town has initiated new water conservation measures and is exploring expansion of those measures, which to date have resulted in less water consumption (freeing up flows for ecological needs), fewer water line breaks, and improved quality of potable water.

More about the New England Partners program

Removal of dam in Finesville village
Credit: USFWS

Partners connect about 3 miles of river for fish and other wildlife

The Service's New Jersey Field Office worked with USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Musconetcong Watershed Association and others to remove a dam in Finesville village on the Musconetcong River, which feeds into the Delaware River.


Photo of Richard Guardagno
Credit: USFWS

New Jersey conservationists honor September 11 hero

The New Jersey Chapter of The Wildlife Society and staff from the Service's New Jersey Field Office recently paid tribute to Service employee Richard Guadagno, who was aboard United Airlines Flight 93 when it crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. Guadagno worked as a biologist in the field office in 1986.

Learn about the projects in Guadagno's memory

N.J. private lands coordinator awarded by NRCS

The New Jersey USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service honored the Service's Eric Schrading with the New Jersey Partner of the Year Award. The award recognized Schrading for his leadership, technical expertise, and passion, which have contributed to wildlife habitat enhancement and wetland restoration on private lands and collaboration with NRCS and other partners to promote conservation in New Jersey.

New Jersey partners begin restoring 108 acres

Partners recently worked at Duke Farms in Somerset County to start restoring wetlands by building plugs in drainage ditches, removing underground agricultural tiles and establishing woody debris.

Thousands of trees will restore New Jersey cranberry bogs

The Service delivered 15,600 Atlantic white cedar seedlings in early November to be planted on about 16 acres of former cranberry bogs in Ocean County near Lakehurst Naval Weapons Station.

Service partners with students to build signs

The Service worked with several community organizations and a high school construction class to create signs for a completed 50-acre wetlands project in Cayuga County, New York.

Schoolyard habitat
Credit: USFWS

Service teaches students about invasive plants

Students from the Galloway Township Middle School in New Jersey worked with the Service to remove stands of the invasive common reed in Mr. B's Backyard Classroom, a schoolyard habitat used by three schools that partner with the NJFO in a Nature of Learning program.

New Jersey partners plant for Cape May's birds

On October 9 and 10, the Partners program and New Jersey Audubon planted trees and shrubs as food and cover for songbirds with in the Cape Island Important Bird Area in Cape May. About 30 volunteers removed invasive species such as English ivy from an adjacent hedgerow.

Audubon, Partners program and Verizon plant trees

Partners provided 600 of 1,000 trees and shrubs planted at a Verizon corporate property in Freehold, N.J. Partners and New Jersey Audubon planned the project and helped plant the trees, which will provide food and habitat for migratory songbirds.

New Jersey partners begin restoring 90 acres of wetlands

An area along the Raritan River in Somerset County, New Jersey, will be permanently protected through an easement under the Wetland Reserve Program of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Partners, including NRCS, the Service's Partners program, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, will restore the Duke Farms wetlands to its natural water system and plant a thousand native trees and shrubs. Within the urban landscape, this site will be important to breeding and migrating birds.

parrot feather
Parrot featherit is difficult to eradicate because it can spread by fragmentation.
Credit: Peter Bergstrom/USFWS

Spraying to kill invasive plants in New Jersey

The Vineland Daily Journal featured the work of the Partners program to rid the Menantico creek of invasive plants. The plant, known as parrot feather, can crowd out native plants, obstruct streams and rivers, and increase mosquito larval habitat.

Read the article

Photo of wetlands restoration
Credit: USFWS

Partners restore wetlands in Seneca County, N.Y

The Service's New York Field Office recently restored 3 acres on two wetland sites that provide homes for shorebirds, such as killdeer and spotted sandpiper, and waterfowl, including black duck and northern pintail. The work will help improve water quality in Canoga Creek, a tributary of Cayuga Lake.

Photo of dam removal
Credit: USFWS

Partners remove New Jersey dam, restore fish access

The Reigelsville Dam in Holland and Pohatcong townships has now been removed, allowing passage for migratory species such as alewife, blueback herring and American eel. Partners include the Service, Trout Unlimited, Urbani Fisheries, and the Musconetcong River Watershed Association. The watershed association and the Service's Partners Program will maintain and monitor the site.

Phragmite plants in bog turtle habitat
Biologists are spraying the invasive phragmites plants that are taking over bog turtle habitat in Salem County.
Credit: USFWS

Partners tackle invasive plants in New Jersey

The New Jersey Field Office has begun its fall herbicide spraying season, focusing on bog turtle habitat, newly constructed wetlands and wet meadow plants. Biologists are targeting plants like common reed, porcelain berry, Japanese knotweed and others that are sensitive to herbicides in late August and early September. The program is also working with Georgian Court University on Asiatic sand sedge along the beaches of Monmouth County. This sedge displaces seabeach amaranth and depresses dune formation.

New Jersey Partners create homes for birds and pollinators

The New Jersey Field Office finished clearing sweet gum trees last week from three fields in Bear Swamp, Howell Township, through a partnership with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. About 18 field acres will now be managed as pollinator meadows and habitat for migratory birds reliant on young forest habitat. Next to other state-owned areas, the 1,000-acre swamp provides habitat primarily to forest-interior species, so the township engaged Partners to restore these fields and increase wildlife diversity in their natural area.

Biologists excavate 3 acres in Middle Township
Biologists excavate 3 acres in Middle Township.
Credit: USFWS

Partners create salamander habitat in New Jersey

The Partners Program worked with a landowner, The Nature Conservancy, and the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program to create habitat for the state-listed tiger salamander and other wildlife by excavating wetlands over about 3 acres in Cape May County. The shallow wetlands will dry in late summer to prevent use by salamander predators, such as fish and bullfrogs.

Read more about Partners in New Jersey

Photo of northern red-bellied cooter turtle
The Eel River Preserve in Plymouth, Mass., is home to one of the few New England populations of northern red-bellied cooter turtles.
Credit: Bill Byrne, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Massachusetts coastal project receives Obama's prestigious environmental award

Government officials and environmental advocates celebrated the completion of a $2-million coastal restoration project in Plymouth today, with a U.S. Department of Interior official presenting a national Coastal America Partnership Award to a project team that restored more than 60 acres of habitat for wildlife and public use. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided funds and technical assistance, along with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Learn more about this project
Learn more about this award

Officials celebrate dam removal in Massachusetts

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joined local, state and federal officials in early June to kick off National Rivers Month and celebrate a five-year project to restore fish passage in the Hoosic River. The Briggsville Dam blocked passage for aquatic species to the North Branch since the 1840s, changing the flood regime and degrading water quality. Its removal has improved wildlife habitat and restored natural river functions.

Read more about the event
See photos from the event

Dam removal in Rhode Island receives state conservation award

The Environment Council of Rhode Island honored the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association and the federal, state, municipal, tribal and private partners in May for the first dam removal on the Pawcatuck River and the second dam removal in the state. The removal of the Lower Shannock Falls Dam has restored passage to historical habitat for fish including American shad, American eel, alewife and blueback herring. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided funds, technical assistance and American shad for stocking through the Fisheries, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Coastal and Engineering programs.

Learn more about the award

Volunteer driving loader tractor
Volunteer Nelson Babcock driving a loader tractor on the preserve.
Credit: Carl Adams

Service removes invasive species in New York

Staff in the New York Field Office recently worked with volunteers to remove 7 acres of invasive brush at the Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve in Tompkins County, New York. The preserve consists of 500 acres of lakes, forests, meadows, brushland, gorges, streams and wetlands. The work will improve habitat for grassland-nesting birds and other species.

Photo of student volunteer
A student volunteer prepares to plant. Drew University students will monitor the success of the trees and shrubs planted at the site.
Credit: USFWS

Partners program restores 20 acres in New Jersey

The New Jersey Field Office completed the restoration of 20 acres within the Great Swamp watershed. The project included removal of invasive species, planting of about 1,300 trees and shrubs by more than 30 volunteers from Drew University and Pfizer, Inc, and installation of a donated deer fence.

Learn more about the New Jersey Partners program

Partners program assists with award-winning pollinator project

The Partners Program in West Virginia recently helped create a pollinator garden at the Stuart Recreation Area in the Monongahela National Forest. The garden, along with two others in the state, was recognized by the U.S. Forest Service through the Wings Across Americas 2011 Butterfly Conservation Award for pollinator habitat conservation, awarded to the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Region.

Learn more about the awards

Photo of restoration of little sucker brook
Credit USFWS

Fish passage restored in Waddington, N.Y.

The Service worked with landowners and other partners to restore fish passage for 18 miles of stream in Little Sucker Brook.

Learn more and see photos on Flickr

Photo of Blind Bay restoration project
Credit USFWS

Landowners and partners restore Blind Bay fish habitat

An excavator operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program reopens 3,000 feet of historic wetlands channels in St. Lawrence Valley, New York, in September. The Blind Bay Restoration Project, a collaboration between the Service and landowners, connects the channels to St. Lawrence River to help restore northern pike spawning and nursery habitat.

Read more

Last updated: May 22, 2013