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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Signed into law by President Obama in February 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and address long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act is an extraordinary response to a crisis unlike any since the Great Depression, and includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.

NRCS National American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Website

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Maine's Recovery Act Projects

Financially supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, two projects were completed in Maine.  This funding restored frequently-flooded land to its natural state, safeguarding lives and property from floods created jobs in rural communities where landowners established the floodplain easements; and opened several miles of stream habitat that was previously a barrier to fish passage for local and non-local fishermen.

 

Madawaska dam site before

Madawaska Dam Removal Before
Madawaska Dam Site After
Madawaska Dam Removal After

The Madawaska Water District Floodplain Easement and Restoration Project (Aroostook County) was completed in late September 2010.  The floodplain easement component of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) allowed NRCS to acquire 2 acres of conservation easement on this privately-owned land along Martin Brook.  The erosion and sedimentation that was occurring at a discontinued and unmaintained dam was threatening downstream infrastructure and degrading instream habitat.

The restoration activities that were performed included:

  1. Removal of the Martin Brook upper dam that was flooding 2 acres of the floodplain, and
  2. Reestablishing native riparian vegetation on the newly-reopened floodplain.

The project provides approximately 600 feet of improved riparian buffer along Martin Brook.  Several miles of stream habitat is now open along Martin Brook that was previously blocked to fish passage.

Total project cost was $120,000.

Project Fact Sheet (.pdf)
 

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Chewonki Dam Removal Before
Chewonki Dam Removal Site Before
Chewonki Dam Removal After
Chewonki Dam Removal Site After

The Chewonki Foundation Floodplain Easement and Restoration Project in Wiscasset (Lincoln County) was completed in early October 2010.  The floodplain easement component of EWP allowed NRCS to acquire 34 acres of conservation easement on this privately-owned land along Montsweag Brook.  The book is critical habitat for the Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment Atlantic salmon, listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Restoration activities performed included:

  1. Removal of the Montsweag concrete dam that eliminates flooding of 17 acres of floodplain and opens up 2.2 miles of stream habitat that is currently blocked to fish passage, and
  2. Reestablished 4,200 feet of native riparian vegetation on the newly-reopened floodplain.

NRCS obligated $414,412 to this project...$385,000 of which was for the dam removal and vegetation costs.  The remaining $29,412 was put towards the cost of the 34 acres of conservation easement.

This project was supported by NRCS, the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, American Rivers, the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program, and Maine Yankee Atomic Energy Company.

Project Fact Sheet (.pdf)