The Wolastoq (Saint John River) Watershed Assessment and Management Plan for the Meduxnekeag River Subbasin is a jointly funded effort between the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New England District.
The USACE authority for partnering in the development of Watershed Assessments originates with Section 729 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986, Public Law 99-662 (100 Stat. 4164, as amended (33 U.S. Code 2267a). That authority was modified by Section 2011 of the WRDA of 2007, Public Law 110-114 (33 U.S. Code 2269) to allow studies that may not result in authorized water resources projects. Section 203 of the WRDA of 2000, Public Law 106-541 (114 Stat. 2572), as amended establishes the USACE Tribal Partnership Program, and authorizes USACE to carry out water-related planning activities and studies (including watershed assessments) and to determine the feasibility of undertaking water resources development projects that will substantially benefit Indian tribes and are located primarily within Indian country. These authorities provide the basis for the USACE and tribes to cooperatively develop Watershed Assessments/Plans such as that presented in this report for the Meduxnekeag River Watershed.
The Meduxnekeag River, a tributary of the Wolastoq (Saint John River), flows through Maliseet Tribal Lands in Littleton and Houlton, Maine. This tributary begins at Meduxnekeag Lake, Maine and joins the Wolastoq (Saint John River) at Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada. The purpose of the plan is to apply a systems approach to document existing and historical aquatic habitat conditions, identify problems and opportunities and develop action oriented recommendations for the protection or restoration of native fish habitat. The Meduxnekeag Subbasin plan recommends actions that may lead to additional investigations for projects, other studies, or additional Saint John River subbasin assessments. The plan is, by design, dynamic and adaptive. As new information is gained, the plan will require modification.
The study engaged stakeholders from both the United States and Canada to work together to apply a systems approach to solve fisheries issues within the Meduxnekeag River watershed and downstream inter-related resources, and potentially has application in the entire Wolastoq (Saint John) basin.
For more information, please contact the New England District Project Manager, Dr. Kristine Reed at Kristine.A.Reed@usace.army.mil