Project Name: Maine’s Salmon Habitat Recovery Areas
Summary: Dam and owner survey for habitat restoration planning
Client: National Marine Fisheries Service
Project Location: Salmon Protection and Recovery Areas in ME
Project Size: 17,753 square miles
• Dam Removal
• Fish Passage and Protection Services
• Habitat Improvement and Restoration
• Agency Consultation
• Stakeholder Facilitation
• Dam Characteristics Assessment
• GIS Database Design and Management
• Endangered Species Act Consulting
Project Timeframe: 2011 - 2012
Relationship with Client: Since 2001
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) required a detailed survey of dams and dam owners for nearly 420 small dams in Maine’s three Salmon Habitat Recovery Units to facilitate planning and prioritization of habitat restoration as part of the overall recovery effort for the federally-endangered Atlantic salmon and other sea run fish such as the co-evolved alewife.
Kleinschmidt’s multidisciplinary team of GIS specialists, engineers, biologists, and survey specialists designed the study to collect physical characteristics of the dams and developed an owner survey that allowed NMFS to identify dam owners and present them opportunities to participate in programs to aid them in complying with the Endangered Species Act. The physical survey was completed using state-of-the-art technology to collect physical information at each structure in the field including general dimensions, impoundment size, presence and condition of fishways, and spatially referenced photographs of the dam. Kleinschmidt administered the owner survey via telephone or in person with private individuals, municipalities, businesses, and Tribal, State, and Federal agencies. A GIS database was created to house all data collected and was used as the data collection platform for the owner survey. Kleinschmidt developed an informational brochure and attended more than ten public meetings presenting relevant information and helping NMFS field questions from the public.
Kleinschmidt completed the projects nine months ahead of schedule. The results of the project are valuable for salmon restoration efforts and may also be key in charting a path for restoration efforts in other parts of the country and for other species.