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News Releases from Region 01

Maine Watershed Organization Awarded $150,000 to Protect Rivers

Contact Information: 
Dave Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)

BOSTON – A Maine organization that protects rivers in Eastern Maine has received $150,000 in federal funding to help protect watersheds in Washington County.

Downeast Salmon Federation was given the funding to support a full-time director for three years at the Federation's Downeast Rivers Land Trust. The organization has a goal of conserving 80 percent of the habitat corridors along the remaining three unprotected rivers in Washington County by 2025.

The Maine organization was one of nine projects chosen to receive a total of $1.4 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to improve land management of hundreds of thousands of acres of watersheds in seven states.

"The Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant Program brings together businesses, local governments, universities, and not-for-profit organizations to work together on watershed protection--a key to long-lasting environmental protection," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "Today's grant to Downeast Salmon Federation will help protect Washington County waterways from pollution, maintain healthy habitat, ensure clean, safe drinking water for many communities, and safeguard economies that depend on the watershed."

EPA developed the Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant Program with the aim of protecting healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds. EPA funds the program with the Endowment, which manages the partnership. Grants are meant to provide short-term funding that can be leveraged into larger financing for watershed protection. The grants are also aimed at helping local organizations become stronger at building sustainable, long-term watershed protection, and supporting new techniques or approaches to protecting watersheds that can be replicated across the country.

"Maine's eastern rivers are some of the healthiest and cleanest on the eastern seaboard," said Dwayne Shaw, executive director of the Downeast Salmon Federation. "We are working to bring these watersheds back to their former glory. Soon, they will once again host robust populations of smelt, shad, river herring and the endangered Atlantic salmon. Protecting them ensures that our commercial and sports fisheries will rebound, that communities continue to have access to clean water, and that our grandkids' grandkids will be able play in them years from now."

More information on the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program and grantees