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Habitat Conservation and Restoration

The Greater Atlantic Region is home to varying river herring habitats including coastal waters, salt marshes, estuaries, rivers and lakes. These important natural resources face challenges from pollution, development, overfishing, invasive species, and barriers to fish passage.  Unfortunately, many rivers and streams in the Greater Atlantic Region contain barriers to fish passage which can impede river herring migration. To address this issue, we work with our partners in the region to improve fish passage by removing dams—some of which are centuries old and no longer in use—and constructing fish ladders, which allow fish like river herring to access spawning and nursery grounds upstream.

Our work also entails coordinating with state and federal natural resource and regulatory agencies on a variety of projects to promote effective stewardship by providing technical advice and conservation recommendations for activities they are funding, authorizing, or proposing which have potential to adversely affect fish habitat and other living aquatic resources.  The Greater Atlantic Region has hundreds of hydropower dams throughout most of its river systems.  As these dams come up for license renewal, we provide recommendations for creating safe and effective fish passage.  Threats to habitat and other living marine resources from human activities often can be avoided or minimized if activities or development projects are designed with or utilize existing best management practices.  In addition, we work with local partners to promote environmental stewardship and protect fish habitat.


Blackman Stream fish passage during construction (left) and completed (right).  Credit: Atlantic Salmon Federation.