Unprotected dams push salmon to the brink

The Kennebec and Androscoggin rivers once teemed with salmon runs of 100,000 or more — but now almost no Atlantic salmon return to the rivers each year.

Unprotected turbines at dams along the rivers are among the leading causes of the declining salmon populations. The dams kill and injure migrating salmon when they attempt to pass through the dams’ rotating blades — akin to having fish swim through the rotating blades of a giant window fan.

To make matters worse, dam owners have refused to implement simple protection measures that have been successfully adopted elsewhere, such as installing effective devices to divert salmon from turbines.

Environment Maine sues to save the salmon

With the number of Atlantic salmon perilously low, the need for action to protect the fish and their habitat is urgent.

In early 2011, Environment Maine and Friends of Merrymeeting Bay sued multiple dam owners and operators on the rivers for failing to take simple, inexpensive measures to protect the salmon.

Since the salmon populations in both rivers are on the Endangered Species List, the dam owners’ negligence violates federal law.

This summer, in a preliminary victory, the courts rejected attempts by the power companies to dismiss the cases.

Preservation Updates

News Release | Environment Maine

Federal Judge Rules Endangered Species Act Case Against Brookfield Power Can Go Forward

A federal judge in Maine ruled today that an Endangered Species Act (ESA) lawsuit brought by conservation groups against Brookfield Power U.S. Asset Management, LLC (Brookfield) and an affiliate, Hydro Kennebec, LLC, can go forward.

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More than 17,000 voice opposition to LURC reform

Volunteers hand-delivered more than 17,000 messages to legilsators, each message asking lawmakers to reject a bill to reform the Land Use Regulation Commission. the group Environment Maine collected and distributed the messages throughout the State House Thursday.

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If LURC loses, so do Maine's citizens

As the Legislature's Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee debates the future of the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC), legislators need to ask themselves "What's in the overall best interests of Maine?"

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Time to drop LURC revamp plan

It makes no sense to turn over the future of the Maine wilderness to a group not elected for the purpose and possessing no qualifications to make the decisions. The anti-LURC contingent would be wise to cut their losses while they still can.

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LURC reform bill already generating political tensions

If their first two meetings are any indication, lawmakers on the committee that oversees the Land Use Regulation Commission could face a rocky road as they prepare to take up a list of recommended reforms to the state agency.

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