Penobscot Project Surpasses a Major Milestone

This past Thursday partners from all walks of life gathered on the banks of the Penobscot River in Maine to celebrate a major milestone in the restoration of the Penobscot River.

The Penobscot River Restoration Trust, of which American Rivers is a member of the Board of Directors, announced that it had successfully raised $25 million in public and private funds for the purpose of purchasing three dams (Veazie, Great Works, and Howland dams) on the Penobscot River. This is a major step in the Penobscot Restoration project that will result in the removal of both Veazie and Great Works and installation of a bypass channel at Howland and will restore more than 1,000 miles of river habitat for Atlantic salmon, American shad, river herring, and seven other migratory species.

Maine is no stranger to dam removal. It is only fitting that the state that gave us the Edwards Dam removal on the Kennebec River and ushered in the age of dam removal as an acceptable form of river restoration is also home to a landmark restoration project like the one unfolding on the Penobscot. In fact, some 15 dams have been removed in Maine since 1998, restoring some 465 miles of river.

As the myriad of Penobscot partners move forward with finalizing project designs and applying for permits, we look forward to the day a few years from now when we’re once again at the banks of the Penobscot watching as the river begins to flow freely.