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Current Projects on SWIM

There is always something exciting happening in the watersheds and communities of the SWIM area. Projects range from small stormwater management initiatives to large waterhsed restoration plans. Below are short descriptions of the most current projects on SWIM. Click on the title to explore these projects in greater detail.

Restoration of Migratory Fish in the Mousam and Kennebunk Rivers

The Mousam and Kennebunk Rivers once supported thriving communities of native fish that would migrate upstream to spawn every year and then return to the sea. The human communities in turn thrived along these rivers because of the plentiful supplies of food and ease of transportation. Today, while it is still possible to catch a striper or a shad at the rivers mouth, the upper watershed never sees these seasonal visitors. Centuries of harnessing the rivers power to drive our economy has left us with barriers insurmountable to the fish that live in them. While the use of water power has largely dissapeared the recreational use of the rivers has never been more important. A new and ambitious project has been undertaken to restore the populations of migratory fish to the Mousam and Kennebunk Rivers. The goal is to create a restoration plan for the rivers that will outline strategies for returning alewives, shad, herring, salmon, eel, stiped bass, and even sturgeon to their historic spawning habitat in the upperwatershed. The restoration plan will enable communities to act on opportunities to remove or bypass fish barriers, and reclaim the cultural, ecological, and economic heritage that belong to them.

Headwaters: A Collaborative Conservation Plan for the Town of Sanford (Final Draft 12.5mb)

View the Sanford Conservation Plan Timeline

The Conservation Plan outlines goals and strategies for achieving open space and resource protection in the natural areas and working landscapes of Sanford. Developed by members of the Sanford and Springvale community with help from regional conservation partners, the Plan addresses conservation goals identified in the Sanford Comprehensive Plan. Today Sanford has a crucial opportunity to set the future character of its community. Growth is slow but steady, as increasing numbers of people discover the advantages of a regional center in this beautiful part of the state. Every year the need for housing and services increases, and the farms, woodlands, and rural lifestyle that we associate with Sanford, are in danger of being lost forever. The Conservation Plan will demonstrate the economic value inherent in resource protection. During the spring and summer of 2008, the Town of Sanford hosted a series of workshops designed to bring community stakeholders together, to share visions for the future of Sanford, and to craft a plan for realizing those visions. The workshops utilized CommunityViz, a GIS planning tool for visualizing conservation scenarios.

'Protecting Our Children’s Water' in the Ogunquit and Great Works River Waterhseds

"You Never Step in the Same River Twice"

A river as a discrete identity is identified on a map by its topography and channelization in the land. Yet a river heading towards the sea is modified by its surrounding air, accompanying landscape, and the creatures residing in or beside it. It is a distinct feature that changes and is changed by all its constituent elements. We as creatures living within the landscape figure in as part of the equation as well.

Protecting Our Children's Water is a collaborative effort of many organizations; the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, the towns of Wells, Ogunquit, and the Berwicks, as well as the Great Works River Land Trust, and Ogunquit River Watershed Coalition, and the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership. It is an opportunity for organizations bound as single entities by political or other limitations, to collaboratively extend their efforts in creating a regional approach to watershed education. Its goal is to work towards improving the water quality of these areas by offering educational assistance, as well as resource support to the community at large for the benefit of this, and the next generation.

You are invited to visit Protecting Our Children's Water, the blog associated with this project to post your opinions, enact discussion or simply monitor our activities as they evolve.

The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farm, Wells, Maine Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. Collaboration with NOAA CSC, Charleston SC