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Nature Conservancy grant will fund fish ladders in Essex and Westbrook

Published October 26. 2013 4:00AM

The Nature Conservancy on Thursday announced an $85,000 grant award from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund to support fish passage and river connectivity work in Connecticut and on Long Island.

Among the projects to be funded by the grant is a fish ladder at the Tiley-Pratt Dam on the Falls River in Essex. Work is expected to begin next summer. The grant also will help fund a fish ladder on a dam in Westbrook and a design study for a fish passage at a dam in Oyster Bay, Long Island.

“This work will open up more than five miles of critical freshwater spawning habitat for alewife and blueback herring, two species whose populations are in a serious state of decline, and we are hopeful that additional future projects upstream of these dams will allow even more miles of stream to be opened to improve river health,” Sally Harold, director of migratory fish projects for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut, said in a news release.

The public-private grant program pools funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and corporate partners.

The conservancy’s grant requires a match of almost $60,000, which will be secured through donor support and in-kind contributions, the conservancy said.

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