Parker-Ipswich-Essex Rivers Restoration Partnership

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Well-connected river and stream networks are important to allow migration of organisms between important habitats and to promote natural hydrologic and geomorphic processes. Dams and improperly designed road-stream crossings (bridges and culverts) create discontinuities in the natural stream network that can limit species distributions, degrade habitat and exacerbate flooding and/or water quality problems. The PIE-Rivers region has more than 80 dams and 1200 road-stream crossings. The extent of impacts from road-stream crossings is not currently known, but a survey is underway (Funded by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust to be completed in 2014) to survey the crossings in the region and develop a baseline river continuity map. The river continuity map which will include dams and road-stream crossings will serve as a baseline to judge improvements in river connectivity over time.

  • Structures Removed/Upgraded – Number of barriers that have been removed or had improved fish passage installed

Availability: PIE

Frequency: Baseline survey underway. Afterwards an annual census of restoration efforts and culvert renovations will be used to track changes from baseline.

Response Variable(s): Count of dam removals, culverts improved, fish passage installed

  • Anadromous Fish Access – Measure of habitat access to spawning/rearing areas for anadromous fish.

Availability: PIE

Frequency: Baseline survey underway. Afterwards an annual census of restoration efforts and culvert renovations will be used to track changes from baseline.

Response Variable(s): river accessible to anadromous fish (miles); spawning pond area accessible to anadromous alewife (acres)

  • Resident Fish Access – Measures of how well-connected the watersheds are for freshwater fish species migrating within the watersheds.

Availability: PIE

Frequency: Baseline survey underway. Afterwards an annual census of restoration efforts and culvert renovations will be used to track changes from baseline.

Response Variable(s): maximum and mean functional river network (miles)(Martin & Apse 2011)

References

Martin, E.H. & Apse, C.D., 2011. Northeast Aquatic Connectivity: An Assessment of Dams on Northeastern Rivers,