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Center Pond Fishway Donation Request

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In 1981 the town, with the assistance of the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), built the fishway and stocked Center Pond with alewives. Unfortunately the fishway, it turns out, has some significant design failures which have become apparent. Fish have a difficult time finding the entrance to the fishway in order to get into the pond at its upper end. Additionally there is a 4’ drop onto boulders at the lower end of the fishway that injures or kills many young alewives and mature “runback” adults trying to exit the pond to get to the river at half tide or lower. Also, the fishway is only effective 42% of a given tide.

The Center Pond River Herring Committee consisting of Troy Wallace, Ethan Debery, Jimma Totman, Peter Roberts, and Mark Alexander have worked for the last several years, with very limited success, to solve some of these problems.

With the assistance of engineer Joe McLean from Wright-Pierce and a 2014 Coastal Community Planning Grant of $18,000, a new fishway has been designed. Alewives are an essential species in the Kennebec Estuary, feeding much of the wildlife we treasure. A restored alewife fishery is also good for Phippsburg’s traditional economy, supporting local fishermen and will make for a healthier Center Pond.

The challenge now is to find funding to construct the new fishway, estimated to cost about $300,000. We have applied for a $150,000 NOAA Grant but need a 50% match of $150,000 to receive the grant if approved. So far we have raised the funds listed below totaling $99,618 towards the match but need to raise $50,382 more to have it totally funded without using any further local tax dollars.

PLEASE CONSIDER A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TO THIS PROJECT. DONATIONS CAN BE MAILED OR DROPED OFF AT TOWN HALL. Checks can be made out to “Town of Phippsburg” with “Center Pond Fishway” in the memo line and mailed to Town Office, 1042 Main Road, Phippsburg, ME 04562.

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