Royal River Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Study

Public Meeting Info

Information regarding the June public meeting will be coming soon. 

Point of Contact

Please send your written comments postmarked or email to:

Ms. Janet Cote

USACE – New England District

696 Virginia Road

Concord, MA 01742


Royal River Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Study Details

The study area is located in the town of Yarmouth, which is located in Cumberland County, in Southern Maine, approximately 12 miles north of the state’s largest city, Portland. The headwaters of the Royal River originates in Sabbathday Lake, New Gloucester and flows downstream for about 39 miles and empties into Casco Bay, Yarmouth, Maine.

The Royal River is a freshwater environment that transitions into an estuarine, tidally influenced aquatic environment in Yarmouth. The head of tide is located approximately at the East Main St. /Route 88 Bridge in Yarmouth. The project location extends from the East Elm Street Dam, past the Bridge Street Dam to the Route 295 bridge.

The purpose of the proposed study is to assess aquatic ecosystem restoration alternatives in the Royal River. This entails the assessment of the first two dams above the head of tide on the Royal River owned by the town of Yarmouth: the Bridge Street Dam and the East Elm Street Dam. Both dams have nonfunctioning/minimally functioning fishways. The project has the potential to restore access to about 71 miles of river habitat for federally listed fish species and non-listed anadromous fish species, providing the fish with upstream access to historic reproductive habitat for adults and nursery habitat for the development of eggs and juvenile life stages.

STUDY UPDATE (April 2024): The Royal River Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration study successfully completed the Tentatively Selected Plan Milestone on Thursday April 25th. This meeting is a milestone internal to the US Army Corps of Engineers, therefore the proceedings were not public. The study team presented the tentatively selected plan to the decision makers at the North Atlantic Division. The team was given approval to move forward with the study.

The tentatively selected plan includes the following elements:

Removal of the Bridge Street Dam & Fish Ladder

  • Removal of the entire fish ladder and
  • Removal of the entire dam (275 ft)

Removal of the East Elm Street Dam & Fish Ladder

  • Removal of the entire fish ladder
  • 120 LF of dam on the right descending bank.

Construction of a Diversion at Middle Falls

  • Placement of large boulders to increase flow to the side channel
  • Chipping of rock ledges

The next steps in the study process are:

  1. Complete writing the draft study report and environmental assessment
  2. Complete an internal review (District Quality Control Review)
  3. Schedule a public meeting (mid to late June)
  4. Begin concurrent review, which includes a public review

To learn more about the tentatively selected plan, please see the slides included under “Related Documents”.

Related Documents

Image of the study area below the East Elm Street Dam