New England News Releases

USACE hosts open house August 1 in Oxford, Mass., for Hodges Village Dam Master Plan revision
7/5/2024 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will host an open house August 1, 2024, in Oxford, Mass., to kick off a process to revise the 1976 Hodges Village Dam Master Plan for the Hodges...
USACE hosts open house July 31 in Monson, Mass., for Conant Brook Dam Master Plan revision
7/5/2024 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will host an open house July 31, 2024, in Monson, Mass., to kick off a process to revise the 1998 Conant Brook Dam Master Plan for the Conant...
USACE hosts open house July 30 in Uxbridge, Mass., for West Hill Dam Master Plan revision
7/5/2024 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will host an open house July 30, 2024, in Uxbridge, Mass., to kick off a process to revise the 2011 West Hill Dam Master Plan for the West Hill...

Top Rotator

Local bird watchers descended upon West Hill Dam armed with pen, paper and a few binoculars to participate in West Hill Dam’s annual Backyard Bird Count.
Construction of the System Management Engineering Facility (SMEF), the 40,000 square foot, 2-story addition, is well underway and progressing rapidly.
For vessels wanting to enter Plymouth waters, dredging to remove shoals from the Plymouth Harbor federal navigation project in Massachusetts is currently underway and on schedule.

News From Around the Corps

It could have been so much worse: How the Pittsburgh District prevented six feet of water from reaching downtown
5/24/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District faced back-to-back high-water events due to heavy rains in April, holding back an estimated six feet of flooding from reaching the Point of...
Nashville District welcomes STEM students for Summer Internship Program
6/10/2024
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 10, 2024) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District kicked off its summer internship program in June 2024, hosting a cohort of 24 talented Science, Technology,...
Army engineers empower young minds with STEAM experiences in South Korea
6/12/2024
No challenge is too big for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. With that mindset, the Far East District set out to ignite a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM)...

Feature Stories

New conservation program proposed by state of Maine to protect endangered Atlantic salmon

USACE, New England District
Published May 8, 2017
Researchers removing very young salmon bound for the Atlantic from water-powered traps in a river. (NOAA)

Researchers removing very young salmon bound for the Atlantic from water-powered traps in a river. (NOAA)

The Maine Department of Marine Resources is proposing to establish and sponsor a new program mitigating harmful impacts to endangered Atlantic salmon and their habitat.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services listed the Atlantic salmon population in the Gulf of Maine as endangered on Dec. 17, 2000 and further inland on June 19, 2009. 

Predation, starvation, disease, environmental degradation, and poaching led to the Fish and Wildlife Service designation.  Historic and recent activities such as road and bridge maintenance and construction have further damaged the population.

The proposed Atlantic Salmon Restoration and Conservation Program can protect Maine Atlantic salmon by increasing the flexibility of permit applicants to meet requirements for compensatory mitigation.

Compensatory mitigation is the restoration, creation, enhancement, or preservation of wetlands, streams, and other aquatic resources to offset unavoidable adverse impacts, and its goal under the Endangered Species Act is no net loss of species and their habitats. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requires mitigation to counter unavoidable adverse impacts under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.

Section 404 provides three mechanisms for compensatory mitigation: mitigation banks, permittee-responsible mitigation, and in-lieu fee programs. The proposed Atlantic Salmon Program is an in-lieu fee program. Federal regulations recognize in-lieu fee as an option to correct shortcomings in existing mitigation techniques.

“It’s very hard to mitigate project to project, especially for small projects, because the permittee may have difficulty finding an acceptable mitigation project that is financially feasible considering the amount of impact,” said Ruth Ladd, Third-Party Mitigation Program Manager.

In-lieu fee allows permit applicants to pay a governmental or non-profit entity to satisfy compensatory mitigation requirements.

The program’s sponsor sells credits to the permit applicant, and the applicant’s mitigation obligation is then transferred to the sponsor. In-lieu fee unifies compensatory mitigation projects and resources to target more ecologically significant activities.

“In other words, there will be an opportunity to pool the limited funds together so we can actually do a decent project,” Ladd explained.

Ladd and the New England District’s Regulatory Division are currently reviewing public comments and ensuring the proposal conforms with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, and Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

“If the program is approved, Regulatory and an interagency review team will approve funding for projects and then review all project documents including deeds and easements, mitigation plans, and monitoring reports, plus make site inspections. “It’s absolutely a lot of fun and very rewarding: but it’s also a lot of work,” added Ladd.

The decision whether to authorize the sponsor to develop a draft in-lieu fee instrument will be based on the District Engineer’s determination of the agreement’s potential to provide compensatory mitigation for activities authorized by Department of the Army permits and on the Fish and Wildlife Service’s determination that impacts to Atlantic salmon can be adequately compensated by the Atlantic Salmon Restoration and Conservation Program.


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