Connecting partners to reconnect streams in the Northeast

Last edited 09/05/2019
Contact Information

Contact: Bridget Macdonald (USFWS),, (413) 253-8403

A collaborative effort supported by federal funding for Hurricane Sandy resilience provides resources for partners across the Northeast to identify and prioritize repairs, upgrades, and replacements to bridges and culverts that threaten human safety and wildlife movement during extreme storms.

The dramatic flooding and erosion that devastated many Northeast states in the wake of Hurricane Sandy brought attention to the risk that outdated bridges and culverts pose to human communities and wildlife during extreme storm events. There are hundreds of thousands of road-stream crossings across the region, many of which create structural weak spots in roads and barriers for aquatic organisms like brook trout, which need to migrate upstream to spawn. In response to the urgent need to assess and repair crossing infrastructure, federal funding for Hurricane Sandy recovery and from the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) is supporting a pair of projects to help address these threats at the regional scale, including the Restoring Aquatic Connectivity and Increasing Flood Resilience project.

The North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC) is one of the outcomes of this effort. With a standard assessment protocol, a coding system for crossings, a central database, and a network of coordinators in 13 states, the collaborative provides the capacity and resources to enable diverse partners to work collectively to address a threat that is becoming increasingly urgent in the face of climate change. “Given the number of crossings in the Northeast, there is no way we will be able to get to them all without a broad collaborative effort,” explained NAACC Coordinator Scott Jackson, an extension professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “Our goal is to try to put together the pieces to make it easier for groups to coordinate and collect good quality data that can be viewed as credible for decision makers who want to allocate resources in the most effective ways possible.” 

More information:

Hurricane Sandy Recovery project website

North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative Update

North Atlantic Aquative Connectivity Collaborative website

Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment