Click HERE to view a PDF of project photos. (Photo Credit: Erin Witham & Karen Robbins)
Wildlife-safe culvert installed in Arrowsic
BY ROSANNA GARGIULO Times Record Staff – Weekend Edition, September 26, 27, 28, 2014
A roughly seven year-long project to restore the phosphorus-impaired Sewell Pond in Arrowsic made a significant step forward on Thursday with the successful installation of a wildlife-safe culvert.
The Arrowsic Conservation Commission worked in collaboration with the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust to obtain funding for the replacement, which cost approximately $166,200, from the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program.
MNRCP uses state and federal funding to award grants “that restore and protect high-priority aquatic resources throughout Maine,” according to the MNRCP website.
Prior to this, grants were obtained from state and federal sources to contract Gartley & Dorsky Engineering Inc., based in Rockport, to design the final box culvert structure. The total project cost is estimated to be $200,200.
The new culvert design, which contains a pool and weir system for fish passage and a ramp for turtle and amphibian passage, as well as other species specific passageways, is unique in Midcoast Maine, said KELT project manager Erin Witham.
The 45-acre Sewell Pond “is an observed habitat for blueback herring, American eel, snapping turtle, painted turtle, bald eagle, osprey, blue heron” and several marine and upland mammals, according to a KELT report.
“One of the (Arrowsic Conservation Commission’s) main goals is to have a healthy pond,” said Witham. “They’ve approached it from an ecosystem management point of view and realized that these two issues, a phosphorus issue and an low alewife population issue, were connected.”