Secretary Salazar, Senator Collins Highlight Recovery Act Projects, Economic Benefits for Maine during Tour of Acadia

Last edited 09/29/2021

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Me – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Senator Susan Collins today highlighted $8.3 million in projects at Acadia National Park funded under President Obama's economic recovery package that will bring jobs and economic growth to Maine.

Investment in the park under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed earlier this year by the president includes $170,000 to replace safety and informational signs, $2.2 million to resurface roads and parking lots, $844,000 to repair culverts and headwalls, $268,000 to remove unneeded buildings, and $4.4 million to rehabilitate roads and parking areas at the Schoodic Education and Research Center.

“We are putting the people of Maine back to work improving key infrastructure at one of the state's most beautiful places and most popular tourist attractions,” Salazar said during a tour of the scenic park today. “This investment will not only help the residents of Maine find work during the current economic crisis, it help attract more visitors and ensure that those who do visit have a fuller, more enjoyable experience.”

More than 2.2 million people visit the park every year, generating $145 million in visitor spending and supporting nearly 3000 local jobs, Salazar noted.

“I welcome Secretary Salazar to Maine and to Acadia National Park-- a true gem of our coastline and one of the most visited national parks in the United States,” said Senator Collins. “In seven years, Acadia will be 100 years old. Age has brought both increasing popularity and greater pressures. I am delighted that recent funding included in the economic recovery package will help create jobs around the park, but it remains critical that we continue to work at the federal level to take the necessary steps to preserve and protect our beloved park for future generations to enjoy.”

Salazar and Collins also highlighted projects completed with funding from the Land and Water Conservation Act, including the acquisition of the 140-acre Pooler farm on Northeast Creek in Bar Harbor with the support of Friends of Acadia and the Maine Coastal Heritage Trust.

“When I was in the Senate, Senator Collins and I worked closely to fulfill President Kennedy's vision by pushing for full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” Salazar said. “This is money that comes from royalties derived from oil, gas, and other natural resource development on our public lands. It should be put back into the land through conservation projects and important acquisitions such as the Pooler farm here at Acadia.”

President Obama has made full funding of the LCWF a priority, proposing $420 million for next year, increasing to a full funding of $900 million by 2014.

Directing Recovery Act funds to the Schoodic Education and Research Center is a prime example of creating jobs and value both to the community and the park, Salazar said.

The Schoodic Education and Research Center staff has grown from zero to 45 full- and part-time in just five years. The center expects to have nearly 100 employees with the expansion and potential for more as the center moves to year-around operation and adds university-level land management and conservation law classes.


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