Governor Mills announces $3.7 million in funding for the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan to support offshore fish recovery projects
Governor Janet Mills announced today that her administration has awarded $3.7 million in grant funding through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan to advance projects that will restore access to critical habitat for the state’s pelagic fish species.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources has awarded funding for 12 projects that include building fish passages, removing old structures, and enhancing coastal or stream habitat.
These projects will improve the passage of American shad, blueback herring, American eel, and Atlantic salmon into hundreds of miles of historic habitat and will produce millions of fry through improved passage into lakes and ponds.
This investment will leverage tens of millions of dollars in additional federal funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure and Inflation Control Act.
“Restoration projects like this improve critical infrastructure, public safety, flood protection and ecotourism, while enhancing valuable opportunities for commercial and recreational fishing.” said Gov. Janet Mills. “These projects will provide long-term economic and environmental benefits to Maine communities and are another example of my administration’s commitment to protecting our environment and our fisheries, which are a vital part of our state’s heritage.”
“These projects will have broad and long-term benefits to these communities and to Maine’s vital marine species that support our state’s economy and maintain the health of our marine and inland ecosystems.” said Patrick Kelleher, Commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources.
Funded projects include:
- $132,634 to the Downeast Salmon Federation (DSF) to improve fish passage into Lake Meddybemps by removing an old structure and designing a new nature-like fishing corridor. The DSF is also designing a fish corridor in the Machias River watershed – together these projects could restore more than 1.5 million fish to these systems annually. $140,000 was also raised through the Debt Sustainability Framework as matching funds to support the work.
- $250,000 to the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) and the Town of Farmington to support the removal of Walton Mills Dam on Temple Stream in Farmington. This project, completed in summer 2023, opened more than 50 miles of habitat for endangered Atlantic salmon and other sea-dwelling species. An additional $2.5 million was raised by ASF to support the project.
- $75,000 to Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) to develop two nature-like fishing trails at Seal Cove Pond on Mount Desert Island. The project, which was completed in August 2023, was supported by $300,000 raised by MCHT.
- $164,550 to the city of Bucksport to replace two sewers; One at the intersection of Jacob Back Pond Road and Stubbs Brook, and one at the intersection of Bucksmills Road and Whites Brook. Bucksport matched MJRP funding with an additional $250,000 raised from other sources to complete the projects in August 2023.
- $354,400 to the City of Bradley to remove one dam, repair another dam and improve other structures to improve sewer passage and lake level consistency at Chemo Pond. These projects also benefited the Maine Forest and Logging Museum in Bradley. The City of Bradley raised an additional $50,000 in matching funds to support completion of the project.
- $5,000 to the City of Phippsburg to design and build fish passage improvements to the Center Pond Fishing Trail in Phippsburg.
- $350,000 for the SHARE Project to restore downstream Atlantic salmon habitat and design fishway restoration projects for the Pleasant River and Stream Cathances. The SHARE and DMR project also installed a new bridge at the Pleasant River Lake outlet. Work will be completed in late 2023 supported by an additional $50,000 in matching funds raised by the SHARE Project.
- $75,000 to ASF for fish passage design at the former Mill Street Dam on the Sabattus River in Lisbon.
- $250,000 to Maine Rivers to design fish passage projects at Washington Pond in Washington, Webber Pond and Three Mile Pond in Vassalboro, and to secure the rights to remove two aging dams in the Androscoggin and Kennebec watersheds. The project will be supported by $15,000 raised by Maine Rivers.
- $550,000 for the US Navy to build a fishing passage and repair the dike on Branch Pond in Palermo. The project is supported by $1.5 million in matching funds raised by ASF, Midcoast Conservancy and the Branch Pond Lake Association.
- $500,000 to the City of Wiscasset to replace the tidal crossing over Old Ferry Marsh, plus an additional $1,900,000 in matching funds raised by Wiscasset.
- $1,021,354 to Alden Labs to design four fishing passes on the St. Croix River in collaboration with Woodland Pulp, which will improve access to more than 600 miles of habitat for marine fish and support the migration of up to 20 million river herring annually. The project will enable additional restoration work on St. Croix with funding of more than $20 million in grants to DMR from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan is Governor Mills’ plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine people and their families, help businesses, create good-paying jobs, and build a successful community. The economy is poised to boom in the future.
Since the Jobs Plan went into effect in October 2021, the Mills Administration has provided direct economic relief to nearly 1,000 small businesses in Maine, supported more than 100 infrastructure projects across the state to create jobs and revitalize communities, and invested in workforce programs that You are expected to provide vocational training. and career and educational advancement and job training opportunities for 22,000 Maine people.
For more information about the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.