Culverts Matter – To Brook Trout – but the money has run out

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 A new $400,000 culvert has been installed on the Hampshire Road in Brownfield. Sebago Chapter of Trout Unlimited worked with the town to obtain a $95K grant from the Maine Water Bond Program and a $100K grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s New England Forests and Rivers Fund. Sebago TU also supplied an additional $10K grant to help pay to remove a small upstream remnant dam.

Frank Day, Public Works Director of the Town of Brownfield, offered: "The Town of Brownfield sees the grant money as a real blessing. This let us both replace the culvert and restore the stream for the fish and wildlife. Without it, we would have been eventually forced to close the road or go with a quick fix that did nothing to resolve the problems the old culvert created. We are grateful to TU, NFWF and the State for making the project possible."

Maine has done some great work installing culverts to both improve water run-offs and fish access. But the money has run out, and we desperately need a new bond issue, something that will be on the agenda when the legislature meets next month. Now is the time to contact your Senator and Representative to let them know this issue is important to you.

Here’s the entire press release from the Sebago Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

 

Brownfield, Maine - September 27, 2017 – The Town of Brownfield has announced that Hampshire Road near the New Hampshire border will reopen on October 1st. The town replaced a large, round deteriorating culvert that, unless replaced, would have led to road closure or weight restrictions. The new open-bottom arch is fish and wildlife friendly and provides greater protection during larger storm events. The cost of the project was over $400K. Sebago Chapter of Trout Unlimited worked with the town to obtain a $95K grant from the Maine Water Bond Program and a $100K grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s New England Forests and Rivers Fund. Sebago TU also supplied an additional $10K grant to help pay to remove a small upstream remnant dam. The Nelson Companies of Conway, New Hampshire was the prime contractor for the project.

Frank Day, Public Works Director of the Town of Brownfield, offered: "The Town of Brownfield sees the grant money as a real blessing. This let us both replace the culvert and restore the stream for the fish and wildlife. Without it, we would have been eventually forced to close the road or go with a quick fix that did nothing to resolve the problems the old culvert created. We are grateful to TU, NFWF and the State for making the project possible."

Jed Wright of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Gulf of Maine Coastal Program said, “It’s amazing to see the partnerships and collaboration that make a project like this possible. The energy Sebago TU volunteers bring, the surveying and support that we provide, the skill and hard work of Maine’s engineering and construction communities, and the commitment of the town to install a properly sized structure all combined to make a great project. This is such a great model for how much can be accomplished for streams and people.”

David Miller, Sebago TU President stated: “It has been a pleasure to work with the Town of Brownfield in the Shepards River Watershed in the foothills of the White Mountains. The projects there have reconnected significant native brook trout habitat that will provide greater resistance to climate change and healthier genetics for its wild trout populations. While so much of Maine’s habitat is beautiful, so much of it has been damaged by human activity. Restoring that habitat is a major part of the TU mission.”

The project complements two other habitat restoration projects in Brownfield completed last year: one built weirs to reconnect a small feeder brook downstream, and another replaced undersized double culverts prone to ice jams with an open-bottom arch on nearby Linscott Brook  where brook trout were observed passing upstream shortly afterwards. Sebago TU will be working with the Town of Porter in the 10-Mile River watershed on two projects next year.

To learn more about the Sebago Chapter of Trout Unlimited, visit: www.sebagotu.org


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