BMP Guidelines Atlantic Salmon NOAA

Project Name: Roads in Atlantic Salmon Watersheds

Summary: Best management practices for salmon habitat protection

Client: NOAA Fisheries and Project Share

Project Location: Statewide, Maine

Services Provided:
•  Aquatic Habitat Assessment
•  Endangered Species Act Consulting
•  Water Quality Assessment
•  Best Management Practices

Project Timeframe:
2002 - 2004

Relationship with Client: Since 2002

Client Needs:

The draft Atlantic Salmon Recovery Plan recognized that roads and stream crossings in critical watersheds have the potential to impair or block access to crucial habitat if road projects did not follow fish-friendly planning and construction guidelines. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Project SHARE were concerned that the available best management practices (BMPs) had inconsistent standards and had never been specifically assessed with the unique needs of salmon conservation in mind. NOAA and Project SHARE developed an inter-agency Restoration Working Group that was tasked to oversee the development of comprehensive, state-of-the-art guidelines that were user-friendly for project proponents, local road commissioners, and permitting agencies.

Kleinschmidt Solution:

Kleinschmidt assembled an interdisciplinary team of engineers, biologists, and permitting specialists. Each team member had expertise pertaining to salmon biology, watershed characteristics, stream geomorphology, botany, stream restoration, and shore stabilization techniques. Kleinschmidt documented and evaluated existing BMP specifications from within and outside the region, and developed recommended practices based on the unique biological and physical characteristics of the subject watersheds. Kleinschmidt also designed two demonstration projects to address existing BMP inadequacies. The Kleinschmidt designs included measures to direct storm flow away from the stream and floodplain and into well-drained, forested buffers. The designs also addressed flow constrictions and techniques for addressing areas of active erosion.

Client Benefits:

Kleinschmidt’s team developed a document that was usable for diverse audiences and included the newest BMP standards. The manual includes an innovative decision flow chart that enables laymen to select the most appropriate BMPs for a given situation and a field checklist that assists developers and agencies alike in assessing the site conditions to aid in selecting specific BMPs.