Coastal Community Planning Grants Awarded
December 11, 2013
For more information, contact: Elizabeth Hertz, Director at 207-287-8061
AUGUSTA - The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) announces that six coastal projects will be awarded $150,305 under its Municipal Planning Assistance Program. Administered by the DACF’s Maine Coastal Program, the awards will provide support for coastal habitat restoration, coastal hazards resilience, and invasive species removal.
The grants are made possible from Maine’s federal coastal management award from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The grant program is an important component of the DACF Coastal Program work program, which includes coastal regional and local planning elements administered through the DACF Municipal Planning and Assistance Program. All of the projects include collaboration and partnerships and each grantee will provide a minimum of 25% in matching funds or services.
“The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is a partner with many communities in their local mitigation efforts,” said Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. “Our Maine Coastal Program Grants help communities address natural resource concerns including habitat restoration, storm surge, and, in the case of the Brunswick project, the threat invasive green crabs pose to commercial fisheries.”
Grants were awarded as follows:
1 City of Augusta: $15,863 for the Final Design of Restoring a Historical Alewife Run of Significance to the Lower Kennebec in partnership with the Worromontogus Lake Association, Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, Maine Department of Marine Resources and the NOAA Restoration Center.
The project will re-establish alewife access to the Togus Stream lake system upstream of the Lower Togus Pond Dam. Construction of a fishway at the dam ranks as one of the highest priority fish passage projects in the Lower Kennebec Watershed. This grant will fund the engineering to position the project for construction. Work will include volunteer fish passage counts, environmental monitoring, fishway engineering designs and permitting for the construction phase of the project.
2 Town of Bristol: $14,250 for Citizen Science and Engineering to Plan the Restoration of Pemaquid River Alewife in partnership with the Bristol Fish Committee, Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, Maine DMR, and NOAA Restoration Center.
The project will reestablish unhindered alewife access through the Bristol Mills Dam Fishway and into the Pemaquid River chain of lakes. The large amount of upstream habitat blocked by the dam makes this project one of highest priority alewife restoration efforts in Maine. This project will include volunteers engaged as citizen scientists. This grant will provide funds for engineering designs and regulatory permitting for improvements to the fishway.
3 Town of Brunswick $38,625 for a Community Project to Remove Invasive European Green crabs from Buttermilk and Woodward Coves in partnership with Brunswick High School Office of Service Learning and Community Outreach and Resource Access International
Municipal government, private sector scientists, commercial shellfish harvesters, and local students will partner to deploy predator fencing and traps in Buttermilk and Woodward Coves in Brunswick, with the goal of reducing the numbers of invasive European green crabs in these critical habitat areas. European green crab destruction of intertidal areas in Brunswick is impacting important wading bird and finfish/shellfish nursery habitat, as well as destroying commercially valuable native shellfish species. Economic impacts on the coastal community are imminent as a result of green crab damage This project will help determine the feasibility of reducing green crab numbers in sheltered coves along the Maine coast.
4 Town of Woolwich: $30,262 for Nequasset Fishway Construction Material In partnership with the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, Woolwich Fish Commission, and Bath Water Commission
This community supported habitat restoration project is the final step to rebuild a 58 year old concrete pool and weir style fish ladder on one of the top alewife runs in Maine. Award of this proposal will close the funding gap by paying for building materials, ensuring summer 2014 construction of a new fish ladder at Nequasset Brook in Woolwich.
5 Town of Damariscotta: $20,000 for Downtown Damariscotta Coastal Hazards Preliminary Engineering Study in partnership with Lincoln County and the Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission.
The Town of Damariscotta, in cooperation with the Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission (LCRPC) will retain an engineering consultant to evaluate options for protecting the downtown from flooding, storm surges and rising seas. The LCRPC and the Maine Geological Survey (MGS) completed a Coastal Hazards-Sea Level Rise impact study of Lincoln County’s 450 miles of tidal shoreline in 2013 utilizing funding from the Coastal Communities grant program. The results of this study indicated that Damariscotta is the most significantly impacted coastal village in the Lincoln County.
6 Washington County Council of Governments: $26,0000 for Working Waterfronts Preparing for Climate Change in partnership with the University of Maine Machias GIS Service Center and Laboratory and the Towns of Milbridge, Jonesport, Machiasport, Cutler, Lubec and Eastport.
This project will add working waterfront wharves and piers as a specific asset to climate vulnerability assessments in six Washington County towns. These communities are the most significant working harbors in Washington County, in terms of numbers of boats, infrastructure, and population dependent on waterfronts to make a living. This project will give municipal leaders and those dependent on working waterfront infrastructure information required to assess the vulnerability of that infrastructure to rising sea levels as well as higher frequency of and intensity storm events.
This is the fourth round of the Coastal Community Grant Program. Since 2012, 25 grants have been awarded for a total of $629,042.
More information on the grant program can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/dacf/municipalplanning/index.shtml