Kennebec Reborn

Kennebec Reborn

 

131 Cony Street, Augusta, ME 04330 IRS EIN # 45-3546601 "We are confronted by insurmountable opportunities." -- Bill Townsend (1927-2016)

 

Sixth Annual Report of Kennebec Reborn

 

[In summer 2011 Tim Watts of North Easton, Mass., Roger Wheeler of Fryeburg, Maine,  Kerry Hardy of Lincolnville, Maine, Lori Keenan of Augusta, Maine and Doug Watts of Augusta, Maine decided to put our names onto a new organization called Kennebec Reborn and make it a 501(c)(3) public charitable organization. We chose the name Kennebec Reborn because the citizens who spent two decades working to remove the Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River in Augusta never meant that achieving this goal would be the end of the job.]

 

OVERVIEW:

 

In 2017, KR ended up doing more feld and historic research and technical assistance and outreach than active litigation in Maine's courts. Highlights of our work in 2017 are:

 

1. Cobbosseecontee Stream (consulting and underwater flmwork with LA flm crew for 4 days in October 2017). Extensive photo documentation of upper watershed.

 

2. Sheepscot River (documenting active ESA violations by Maine DIFW for fshway at Sheepscot Lake outlet).

 

3. China Lake Outlet Stream (assisting Maine Rivers and MDMR in designing and implementing complex, multi-staged dam removal plan to restore 1 million+ alewives to watershed).

 

4. Presumpscot River/Sebago Lake (manifold, with Friends of Sebago Lake and Friends of Merrymeeting Bay):

 

a. Legal fghts over fshway delays. b. Legal fghts over eel passage delays. c. New legal fght with Brookfeld over N. Gorham Dam.

 

5. Little Androscoggin River, Auburn, Maine (basic photographic and feld reconnaissance for intervention in FERC relicensing).

 

6. Mattaceunk Dam, Penobscot River (collaboration with Penobscot Indian Nation and Atlantic Salmon Federation at critical ESA dam on Penobscot River).

 

7. Union River (collaboration with Downeast Salmon Federation, Union Salmon Association). Documenting fsh kills and pursuing legal remedies to severe dam-caused fsh kills in 2017.

 

8. Pattees Pond Brook (Sebasticook River, Winslow, Maine): VICTORY !!! MDMR has informed us Maine DOT has funded this critical stream blockage (caused by their own bridge) for fxing in 2018.

 

9. Satucket River, East Bridgewater, Mass. VICTORY !!! -- dam removed on Oct. 25, 2017 after 17 years effort by KR founders and partners. 200,000+ fsh run to be restored with April 2018 fsh run.

 

10. Weweantic River, Wareham, Mass. VICTORY !!! The Buzzards Bay Coalition has obtained the permits and funding to remove the sub-tidal Horseshoe dam on the Weweantic River in 2018. KR founders have been working on this for 17 years.

 

SUMMARY:

 

a. This 2017 report shows that two original projects for KR in 2011 are now complete or slated for completion (Satucket River dam removal; Pattees Pond Brook bridge replacement). This time-line (+/- 5 years) appears best-case scenario for capital intensive projects involving excavators.

 

b. Technical assistance/collaboration dominated much of KR's work in 2017; to wit, we have combined forces with other established groups on key places (ie. China Lake, Union River, Presumpscot River, Sheepscot River, Mattaceunk, Penobscot River). These endeavors are much too large for KR to do on our own; as such we partner.

 

c. Original feld and historic research was a high priority. In 2016 KR initiated a weekly fall survey of dams blocking sea-run fsh in the Kennebec region (incl. Sheepscot River) to ascertain and document if access to native fsh is being provided at multiple decrepit dams (we are the only ones doing this). We continued and expanded this program in 2017 so as to develop a photographic database of all critical sites in order to show year to year improvement or lack thereof.

 

NGO-COLLABORATORS (2017): Friends of Sebago Lake, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, Penobscot Indian Nation, Westport Fishermens Association, SeaRun Brook Trout Coalition, Downeast Salmon Federation, Union River Salmon Association, Atlantic Salmon Federation, Maine Rivers, Upstream (Cobbossee Stream),

 

the Nature Conservancy, SEMass Trout Unlimited.

 

REPORT DEDICATION:

 

To Clinton 'Bill' Townsend of Canaan, Maine (1927-2016), who can never be replaced.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Doug Watts, president Kennebec Reborn 131 Cony Street Augusta, ME 04330 207-622-1003

Dec. 9, 2017