In 2006, a dam was removed on the above stretch of the Sandy River in Norridgewock, Maine, opening up miles of prime endangered Atlantic Salmon spawning habitat. But downstream of the Sandy are four dams on the Kennebec River with no suitable fish passage, preventing efforts to restore fish to their historic spawning grounds. In 2021, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Conservation Law Foundation, Maine Rivers, and Natural Resources Council of Maine, sued the operator of these dams, Brookfield, for its repeated violations of the Endangered Species Act.
In the summer of 2021, the Natural Resources Council of Maine hired me to produce a video explaining the benefit of dam removal:
In addition to the above video, I also edited together 6 short testimonial videos from Mainers who live, work, and play on and around the Kennebec. Here is one of those videos:
This project coincided with work I was doing for Upstream on their efforts to free another Kennebec tributary for migratory fish, Cobbossee Stream, which I wrote about in a previous post: Keystone: Voices for the little fish. | (ecophotography.com). On both projects, I received some excellent assistance from my colleague Ryan Smith, seen below in the bow of my canoe while we paddled the Kennebec at sunset.
I support removing these dams and restoring passage for anadromous fish like salmon, alewives, sturgeon, and striped bass. Restoring these connections in nature benefits us all.