Target: Penobscot River Restoration Trust and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)
Goal: Thank efforts to revive a depleted river ecosystem.
The Veazie Dam removal project in Maine initiates a host of benefits to the Penobscot River ecosystem. The project’s ecology-driven goals go beyond purely human interest. Dams can pose several threats to fish species. Despite offering ladders and elevators to facilitate fish passage, dams can still block fish movement, increase fish vulnerability to predators, elevate water temperatures which threaten fish accustomed to cooler waters. Part of the NOAA’s sweeping chain of dam and fish passage projects from Maine to Virginia, the removal of the Veazie dam on the Penobscot is a major effort to reverse the years of unrelenting pollution from riverside mills and dams. Combined with 2 other major restoration projects, the Veazie dam’s removal will open up 1,000 miles of spawning habitat for 11 species of fish “for the first time in two centuries.”
The project marks a victory for thousands of “conservationists, government officials, and anglers.” A recent article in the New York Times quotes the momentous words of Josh Ryte, senior conservation planner for the Maine Chapter of the Nature Conservancy: “I can’t think of another river restoration project in our lifetime that is opening up this much habitat to these many species.”
Furthermore, the project’s strategy of reviving river herring in particular demonstrates a key strategy to strengthening the river ecosystem as a whole. An “ecological building block,” the two species that actually go by the name “river herring” provide food for birds, land mammals, and larger fish valuable to fishermen, like cod and lobster. Targeting river herring also benefits Atlantic salmon currently endangered in the area. Increased numbers of river herring will hopefully shield Atlantic salmon from predators, providing an ecological and economic boost to the region.
The $60 million dollar project will last for about a decade, cultivating high hopes for reviving severely depleted fish populations. The removal of Veazie Dam was no small decision; rather it represents a group’s immense cooperation, know-how, and dedication to conservation. By signing the petition below, you can thank these individuals for their commitment to this monumental project and support their vision for healthier ecosystems and a more sustainable future.
Dear Penobscot River Restoration Trust and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association,
I am writing to commend you on your dedication to revitalizing the Penobscot River ecosystem by removing the Veazie Dam. Given the immense effort and resources this project requires, I thank you for investing in healthier ecosystems and a more sustainable future.
Perhaps most importantly, your extensive commitment to river restoration sets a valuable precedent for responsibility in resource management. I appreciate your recognition that natural ecosystems are one of the most precious commodities we are privileged to enjoy, and I am grateful for the hard work you put into caring for them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: www.animalspot.net via Google Advanced Image Search