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.
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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