Traveling over the Kennebec River is actually an appealing experience and that i are pleased toward chance to glance at the watershed off significantly more than, to see and you will consider the work which have been heading to the more than years to improve the fresh new waters associated with after excellent and in addition immediately after tragically contaminated waterway.
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Nine years back, almost just towards the time, I would personally met with the exact same possible opportunity to fly over the lake following the the afternoon-a lot of time Appointment with the Kennebec prepared inside Waterville from the Maine Rivers, thanks a lot once again on kindness of your nonprofit LightHawk.
Preservation biologist Dr. John Waldman is actually the brand new conference’s keynote presenter and you may inserted me personally on the the latest 2014 airline. He’d given his testing of one’s Kennebec and its potential, listing the real history of your own exhaustion of the once-high fisheries of your own East Seaboard on account of overfishing, dams and you will pollution.
Perhaps one of the most powerful circumstances he made to all of us one to time during the Waterville would be the fact, out-of Labrador down to Fl, of all the rivers flowing into the west Atlantic Water, he finds the fresh new Kennebec gets the best assortment off aquatic kinds, species which include Atlantic salmon, Atlantic sturgeon, short-nosed sturgeon, striped bass, Western shad, alewife, blue-back herring, rainbow smelt, tomcod, American eel, and you may sea lamprey. Merrymeeting Bay, a portion of the Kennebec estuary program, combines half dozen canals – a major international rarity out-of rich and you will threatened variety.
Along side 9 years anywhere between flights, superior functions has been complete, like the Asia Lake Alewife Restoration Step; performs one to fully got rid of about three low-hydro dams and you may installed technical fishways (fish ladders) at about three websites. Maine Streams is a part of that work, celebrating achievement this past year as more than simply 800,one hundred thousand local adult alewives was in fact counted diving with the river having the very first time since the 1783.
It was a thrill so you’re able to travel along side river and you may learn you to definitely not as much as all of us, within the water, life try back again to reconstruct and you may rejuvenate food webs and you can water high quality. As well as really worth remembering ‘s the previous removal of new Walton’s Mill dam inside the Farmington, in which another load moves freely for the first time in 240 decades, thanks to Farmington voters exactly who approved agreements submit from the Atlantic Fish Federation, agreements you to definitely incorporated park improvements as well as the substitute for from a couple highway-load crossings, to benefit nearby neighborhood also Atlantic salmon and you can brook trout.
The fresh new four mainstem Kennebec dams belonging to the new mega-opportunity business Brookfield are still very difficult. I have read all kind of dispute up against preservation and you can river maintenance, out of inquiries one no seafood may benefit to so much more unconventional advice you to unnecessary seafood commonly come back. Precisely what do experts look for concerning the gurus?
Dr. Lynne Y. Lewis, teacher out-of business economics from the Bates College, recently shared with me the brand new undergraduate thesis of the lady advisee, Tamsin Stringer; really works one generates towards Lewis’ very own evaluation of your actual-world impacts from dam reduction with the assets viewpoints. Stringer looked at individual property opinions to see exactly how proximity in order to the brand new Kennebec River impacts possessions thinking. She examined the newest differing impacts for metropolitan areas having dams in the place of towns and cities rather than, and additional asked if you have a big change ranging from property opinions upstream in place of downstream regarding highest dams. To take action she examined unmarried-house sales research out of Redfin, a real home record site, on locations off Pittston, Gardiner, Farmingdale, Augusta, Hallowell, Vassalboro, Winslow, Waterville, Fairfield, Skowhegan, Norridgewock and Madison.
Every places she examined are observed to your main stem of straight down Kennebec and to run the analysis she looked home conversion away from 2017 so you’re able to 2022, tallying overall out-of 3,099 household sales. The job provided a good regression investigation which have 11 details, relating to the sized the latest property and range toward lake.
Basically, the work confirms one to people downstream out-of Waterville’s Lockwood dam, where river is free flowing, every benefit from becoming closer to the fresh new lake. Upstream of these dam additionally the about three other Kennebec dams, the newest lake and you can dams has actually a bad impact on property opinions. Their studies concluded that new urban centers where dams is located, Waterville, Fairfield, Skowhegan, Norridgewock, and you will Madison, the possess negative philosophy.
A great deal more operate in the world of economics is still around complete. Could it possibly be over timely enough to harmony new threats in order to our freshwater ecosystems, where all over the world now a third of freshwater seafood variety are endangered that have extinction? Is brand new revival of the Kennebec bring together environment and you can financial revitalization?