Sarah O’Malley, a member of the Sedgwick Alewife Committee, and Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries Collaborative Management Specialist Mike Thalhauser help fish get through a barrier on Snows Brook before the fishway was replaced last year. MAINE CENTER FOR COASTAL FISHERIES PHOTO

River Herring Network receives grant support



STONINGTON — The Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries (MCCF) was recently awarded funding to support river herring/alewife initiatives locally, in the state of Maine and beyond. This work includes restoration efforts on the Blue Hill Peninsula and the recently developed River Herring Network. This New England-wide network, which includes local, state, federal and tribal managers, researchers and harvesters, is working collaboratively to better understand, monitor, restore and manage river herring populations.

MCCF recently received a two-year grant from Sarah K. de Coizart Article TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust. These efforts are also supported by the Alewife Harvesters of Maine, the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, the Maine Community Foundation and Maine Sea Grant. There was a total of $89,000 in awards.

The funds from these grants will support efforts in communications and collaboration within the network, building a web portal to provide educational content among the network and public, providing seed funding to support stakeholder participation and developing an evaluation tool to monitor, improve and sustain the network.

Collaborative partners include Manomet, who uses science and collaboration to strengthen coastal ecosystems and working lands and seas across the Western Hemisphere.

“We are thrilled to see the broad support for this network, including from several of the organizations who are active network participants. I think it really points to the enthusiasm of the group toward building greater collaboration, and I am excited to be partnering with MCCF to facilitate that important work,” said Emily Farr, senior fisheries program manager at Manomet.

The recovery of these river systems and fish species like river herring (alewives) is important because it results in the reconnection of the fresh water and marine ecosystems, which is good for fisheries and communities. Long term monitoring of river herring migration runs and successful restoration projects are only possible through collaboration and at the scale at which river herring runs exist; stream to stream, pond-to-pond, and community to community.

MCCF, located on Stonington’s working waterfront, works to connect fishermen, scientists, regulators, and others through collaborative research, education, and management. Learn more at www.coastalfisheries.org.

 

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