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Habitat Blueprint

The Habitat Blueprint was designed to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of NOAA’s habitat work by facilitating strategic planning and action across NOAA line offices and with partner organizations.

The Penobscot River Habitat Focus Area

The Penobscot River is one of ten Habitat Focus Areas that has been selected as part of NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint Framework.  

NOAA has two broad goals for the Penobscot River Habitat Focus Area:

NOAA has worked with many partner organizations on several restoration projects throughout the Penobscot watershed. This work has already resulted in major improvements in habitat quality and fish abundances for many species, including alewife and blueback herring. The potential to build off previous work and to leverage existing partnerships to restore and protect ecologically important fish habitats, threatened and endangered species, and species of concern such as alewife and blueback herring, made the Penobscot River an ideal Habitat Focus Area under NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint Framework.

NOAA will address these goals through several targeted objectives:

The Penobscot HFA will build upon NOAA’s recent track record of fish passage restoration in the watershed.  In addition to significant NOAA support for the Great Works and Veazie dam removals, NOAA (through the Restoration Center) has supported the following representative fish passage projects in recent years with design and construction funding.

Blackman Stream Fishway: A masonry pool-and-weir fishway was constructed in 2009 and restored passage to 1,223-acre Chemo Pond in the Blackman Stream sub-watershed, a tributary to the Penobscot River.

Pushaw Lake Fishway: A Denil fishway was constructed at the outlet of Pushaw Lake, which provided access to an estimated 5,461 acres of alewife spawning habitat.

Davis Pond Fishway: An Alaskan steeppass fishway was constructed in 2013 at the outlet of Davis Pond, providing access to 851 acres of alewife spawning habitat in Davis Pond and Holbrook Pond, in the Blackman Stream sub-watershed.

Coleman Pond Fishway: A masonry pool-and-weir fishway was constructed at the outlet of Coleman Pond in the Ducktrap River watershed, a tributary to Penobscot Bay.  The fishway replaced a former dam and fishway that had fallen into disrepair, restoring access to 223 acres of alewife spawning habitat.

Etna Pond Fishway: In 2013, an Alaskan steeppass fishway was constructed at an mill barrier downstream of Etna Pond on Souadabscook Stream, a tributary of the lower Penobscot River.  The project restored passage to an estimated 361 acres of alewife spawning habitat.

Monitoring Strategies: An interdisciplinary team has begun looking at long-term potential for river herring monitoring in the Penobscot watershed, such as electronic counters or volunteer counts on key tributaries, with anticipated  teams recommendations in 2015.

Read the April 2015 update on the project's progress.

The Delmarva/Choptank River Habitat Focus Area

The Delmarva/Choptank River is one of ten Habitat Focus Areas that has been selected as part of NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint Framework.  

The Delmarva/Choptank River Habitat Focus Area, which includes the Choptank and Little Choptank Rivers, is located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Choptank River, with headwaters in Delaware, is the longest river on the Delmarva Peninsula. This area is a treasured part of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem with habitat for spawning river herring. NOAA Restoration Center, as part of the Choptank Habitat Focus Area efforts, will explore removal of fish blockages in the Choptank River at priority locations identified through the Chesapeake Fish Passage Prioritization tool.

Read an April 2015 story on the Choptank River Habitat Focus Area.