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Penobscot River looking toward Milford Dam, which will become the first dam on the river, and the Indian Island, home of the Penobscot Nation. Photo by Bridget Besaw

The Penobscot River Restoration Project is one of the largest, most creative river restoration projects in our nation's history. In an unprecedented collaboration, the Penobscot Indian Nation, seven conservation groups, hydropower companies PPL Corporation and Black Bear Hydro, LLC, and state and federal agencies, are working together to restore 11 species of sea-run fish to the Penobscot River, while maintaining energy production. Successful implementation of the project will revive not only native fisheries but social, cultural and economic traditions of New England's second largest river- the Penobscot.

The Penobscot River Restoration Trust is the nonprofit responsible for implementing the restoration effort, including purchase of the Veazie, Great Works, and Howland dams in 2010. The Penobscot Trust removed the Great Works Dam in 2012, the Veazie Dam in 2013, and decommissioned and built a bypass around the Howland Dam in 2016. Combined with additional fish passage enhancements at four other dams owned by Black Bear Hydro, the project will significantly improve access to nearly 2,000 miles of habitat for sea-run fish. Energy enhancements at Black Bear Hydro facilities means energy production will remain at least the same as when the Project began, and likely increase.

The Penobscot Trust board includes representatives from the Penobscot Indian Nation, American Rivers, Atlantic Salmon Federation, Maine Audubon, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Trout Unlimited, and The Nature Conservancy, along with three additional directors.

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