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Promoting cooperation to maintain and
enhance environmental quality
Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration Web Portal
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Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration Strategy

GOMC Habitat Restoration Grants Program - Request for Letters of Intent for 2013 Projects October 19, 2012


The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment (GOMC) has released a request for Habitat Restoration Letters of Intent. The mission of GOMC is to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf of Maine to allow for sustainable resource use by present and future generations. Since its establishment in 2002, the GOMC has partnered with NOAA to help support 110 projects with over $3.5 million in restoration funding.

Together, these projects also helped enabling partnering organizations to re-open 163 miles of rivers and streams to access by fish like river herring, Atlantic salmon and American eel. In addition, these projects re-established alewife spawning access to over 2,700 acres of lakes and ponds and rehabilitated over 650 salt marsh acres. The economic impact of projects is also noteworthy, because each must provide matching financial support that is equal to, or exceeds the award amount. Likewise, the engineering and construction needs of projects means that this funding helps support jobs in each project’s home state or province.

Letters of Intent (LOIs) will be accepted October 26 - November 23, 2012 via the online submittal process described in the RFP. Preliminary results of the LOI review process will be shared with submitting organizations after January 11, 2013. Pending confirmation of funding commitment(s) for this grant program, a solicitation for full proposals may be released in early 2013.

For questions related to a proposed project, use the contact information below to access a regional representative of this grant program. For general questions about this program, contact the Maine Coastal Program Habitat Restoration Coordinator, Slade Moore at Use the link below to access the full RFP, which includes format guidelines for Letters of Intent:

Click here to download the RFP (pdf format, 128 kb)

LOI Contact Information

For information about the Gulf of Maine Council Habitat Restoration Grants Program, contact one of the following people.

Slade Moore
Maine Coastal Program

Kevin Lucey
New Hampshire Coastal Program

Hunt Durey
Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game

Lee Swanson
New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government 

GOMC-NOAA Announce New Habitat Restoration Grants September 21, 2012


The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment (GOMC) and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service announced in August that seven new projects in the Gulf of Maine will receive support from the GOMC-NOAA Community-Based Habitat Restoration Partnership.

Projects in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire will receive technical assistance and grant funding totaling $336,800. Projects receiving grants from the GOMC-NOAA Partnership seek to reverse impacts to salt marshes, rivers, streams, shellfish beds, eelgrass, and other key features of ecological, economic and cultural importance in the Gulf of Maine ecosystem.

The projects are selected to offer long-term ecological benefits and promote effective restoration at the community level. Many projects provide added value by assisting with replacement or removal of deteriorating structures like road culverts or dams that are a liability to public safety and represent a financial burden to their owners.

More information about the GOMC-NOAA partnership and these awards is available in the September 2012 edition of the Gulf of Maine Times.


Flanders Stream Fish Passage Construction, Sullivan
This project will support replacement of an undersized and failing town culvert and a deteriorating concrete fishway, both of which hinder alewife passage necessary to support a commercial fishery. This construction project will enhance the road crossing’s ability to accommodate storm flows and improve alewife access to upstream spawning grounds in Flanders Pond. GOMC-NOAA Partnership Award: $75,000.

Orland River Dam Feasibility Study, Orland
Alternatives for enhancing alewife passage will be developed for this deteriorating, head of tide dam. At present, the dam is occasionally overtopped by incoming tides, indicating that the dam’s design has not accommodated environmental changes associated with ongoing sea level rise. Fish passage, health and safety to residents, recreation and aesthetics are among the project elements that will enable the town to make an informed decision as to the future of the dam. GOMC-NOAA Partnership Award: $30,000.

Design Study for Sewall Pond Outlet Road Crossing, Arrowsic
The engineering design provided by this project is necessary for the replacement of an undersized and deteriorating culvert crossing that hinders alewife and wildlife passage under the state road into Sewall Pond. The stream leading into the Pond was once the site of a commercial alewife harvest and local proponents are working diligently to monitor and improve the run. GOMC-NOAA Partnership Award: $23,000.

Back Narrows Tidal Wetland Restoration Design
This project will result in engineering plans for the removal of a stone dam and replacement of an aging town road crossing that also acts like a dam and floods upstream property. The subsequent construction phase of the project is anticipated to restore tidal exchange to the head of tide. GOMC-NOAA Partnership Award: $8,800.


Town Brook Dam Removal, Plymouth
Removal of the Off Billington Street Dam will improve water quality, remove contaminated sediment and provide unimpeded passage for alewife, blueback herring, American eel and resident freshwater species. This project is part of a larger, comprehensive effort to restore sea-run fish to the Town Brook drainage. GOMC-NOAA Partnership Award: $100,000.

Hunters Pond Dam Removal Feasibility and Design Study, Scituate
This feasibility study and preliminary engineering design will support restoration of Bound Brook through the anticipated removal of the deteriorating Hunters Pond dam. In addition to addressing public safety risks and the financial burdens associated with this head-of-tide dam, removal of the structure will re-establish sea-run species like blueback herring, alewife, American eel and other fish to their historic upstream drainage. GOMC-NOAA Partnership Award: $40,000.


Sawyer Mill Dams Removal Design, Dover
This project supports development of final engineering plans and specifications, detailed construction cost estimates and regulatory needs for the removal of the two lowermost dams on the Bellamy River. The subsequent construction phase will re-establish access to sea-run fish species like blueback herring, alewife and American eel. GOMC-NOAA Partnership Award: $60,000.

Habitat Restoration Highlights

Regional Habitat Monitoring Data System (RHMDS)

The RHDMS is a Web-based system that enables sharing, integration, and use of coastal habitat monitoring data. As a proof of concept, the system has been developed initially with data from a limited number of monitoring sites in salt marshes and seagrass beds. The sites are shown on a map of the Gulf of Maine, and graphs of changes over time are provided for each site. The data indicate the degree of habitat degradation and the degree of recovery after habitat restoration. For example, some salt marsh sites have been restored by removal of tidal restrictions (culverts, bridges), and the marsh vegetation data shows a recovery in abundance of salt-tolerant plant. To use the RHMDS, click here.


Stream Barrier Removal Monitoring Guide

The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment announces publication of the Stream Barrier Removal Monitoring Guide. Developed collaboratively by more than 70 scientists, natural resource managers, engineers and consultants from government agencies and non-governmental organizations, the guide presents a standardized framework for monitoring the ecological changes that occur when dams, culverts, and other stream barriers are removed. Across the Gulf of Maine watershed, agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private parties are removing dams and replacing culverts to restore stream processes and fish passage. Significant resources are invested in these stream barrier removal projects, but monitoring the outcomes of the projects has not been a priority. Monitoring is essential to document the effectiveness of restoration projects; document the long-term regional impacts of restoration efforts; improve restoration techniques; and communicate the results of restoration projects to stakeholders and the public. The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment addressed the need for consistent stream barrier removal monitoring by developing the Stream Barrier Removal Monitoring Guide. The Guide provides a framework of critical monitoring parameters for use at dam and culvert removal sites in the Gulf of Maine watershed. The framework can easily be adapted for stream barrier removal projects in other regions. For more information and to download the Guide, visit

Projects funded by GOMC-NOAA Habitat Restoration Grants Program

Examples of habitat restoration projects


Oak Island Salt Marsh Restoration Revere, MA
Oak Island Marsh is located within a 1,800-acre coastal wetland complex known locally as Rumney Marsh. Only seven miles from downtown Boston, Rumney Marsh is a state-designated Area of Critical Environmental Concern. Local, state, and federal agencies, including the Massachusetts Wetlands Restoration Program, EPA, NOAA/NMFS, and the City of Revere, have restored approximately 120 acres of Rumney Marsh. Fact sheet (PDF, 606 KB) | Web page

Sebasticook River Anadromous Fish Restoration Newport & Plymouth, ME
At 50 miles long, the Sebasticook River is the largest tributary of the Kennebec River. Historically, the Sebasticook River provided nursery and spawning habitat for many anadromous fish species, but today dams block shad and alewives from their spawning areas. The State of Maine and other project partners are restoring fish passage to Sebasticook Lake and Plymouth Pond by installing fish ladders and improving stream habitat. Fact sheet (PDF, 248 KB) | Web page

Quivett Creek Salt Marsh Restoration Dennis, MA
A 265-acre salt marsh surrounds Quivett Creek, and the stream is an important migratory route for anadromous fish. An abandoned road crosses the upper part of Quivett Creek, separating the upper 11 acres of salt marsh from the main marsh system. With support from project partners, the Town of Dennis is replacing two small culverts under the road with a larger culvert to restore tidal flow and allow fish passage to the upper Quivett Creek salt marsh. Fact sheet (PDF, 608 KB) | Web page

More examples
The Habitat Restoration Subcommittee and the Outreach Committee of the Gulf of Maine Council have released fourteen fact sheets on habitat restoration projects in the region. The fact sheets provide an introduction to some of the many efforts to restore salt marshes, rivers, and other habitats in the Gulf of Maine and its watershed.

Habitat-specific information for project planning

Salt marsh
Rivers for anadromous fish

Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration Strategy

The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment has released a comprehensive plan for state, provincial, federal, and local habitat restoration experts to follow as they prioritize and restore coastal and marine habitat throughout the Gulf of Maine. The 24-page Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration Strategy (PDF, 903 KB) identifies habitats of regional significance, prioritizes restoration projects, and promotes habitat restoration at a regional level. It was developed by habitat restoration experts from government agencies and non-government organizations in both the United States and Canada.

Atlas of tidal restrictions

The tidal restrictions atlas provides photographs and information about culverts, bridges, and other structures that retrict tidal flooding of marshes and other coastal habitats. Intended to facilitate habitat restoration efforts, the information is available through a sortable list and an interactive map. Presently the atlas contains tidal restrictions data for Maine only. Data for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia will be added based on availability.

Inventory of potential restoration sites in 4 watersheds
Restoration inventory map   Restoration inventory search

The Maine State Planning Office conducted an inventory of 484 possible sites for habitat restoration in four Maine watersheds: Kennebec River, Royal River, Presumpscot River, and Spruce Creek. The inventory is now available in an interactive map and a search form on the Habitat Restoration Web Portal.

The inventory identifies places along the shoreline that potentially could be enhanced through habitat restoration. Sites are categorized by town, waterbody, habitat, source of degradation, area of habitat affected, type of restoration needed, cost rank, and project status.

The interactive map has symbols at the inventory sites. Symbol size indicates the area of habitat affected. Click on a symbol to see complete information about the site, including aerial and on-the-ground photographs. Example: Sparhawk Mill dam (Royal River)

Use the search form to find inventory sites based on selected criteria. Then click a link for complete information about a site.

Downloadable maps of potential sites for habitat restoration:
Kennebec River - Map 1 (PDF, 2.9 MB)
Kennebec River - Map 2 (PDF, 2.8 MB)
Kennebec River - Map 3 (PDF, 3 MB)
Kennebec River - Map 4 (PDF, 3.7 MB)
Kennebec River - Map 5 (PDF, 2.2 MB)
Royal River - Map 1 (PDF, 973 KB)
Royal River - Map 2 (PDF, 830 KB)
Royal River - Map 3 (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Spruce Creek - Map 1 (PDF, 732 KB)
Spruce Creek - Map 2 (PDF, 808 KB)
Spruce Creek - Map 3 (PDF, 874 KB)

More information about habitat restoration

The Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration Web Portal is a regional information clearinghouse for habitat restoration practitioners, resource managers, scientists, funding agencies, and other people involved in habitat restoration. The Portal provides information about habitat restoration priorities, projects, funding opportunities, restoration techniques, and project planning. The Portal has a searchable database and interactive map of projects funded by the GOMC-NOAA Habitat Restoration Grants Program.

Funding for the Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration Portal was provided by NOAA.

The Portal is a project of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment's Habitat Restoration Subcommittee.


Peter H. Taylor (Waterview Consulting)
GOMC Science Translation Project
Planning, writing, and design

James Cradock (Yellahoose)
Technical development

Seth Barker (Maine Department of Marine Resources)
GOMC Information Management Committee
Technical advising

Portions of the Portal's content were adapted with permission from the Rhode Island Restoration Portal.

Photograph: Culvert under Mountain Road at Strawberry Creek in Harpswell, Maine © Peter H. Taylor

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