Restoring Fish Passage at Saccarappa Falls
After three years of difficult negotiations an agreement was reached with SAPPI for the Saccarappa Dam in downtown Westbrook to be removed and fish passage to be installed. Saccarappa is a highly visible, complex and scenic site, and the new fish passage that SAPPI agreed to install will allow sea-run fish to migrate over Saccarappa Falls and utilize the longest continuous stretch of spawning habitat on the Presumpscot. Picture millions of baby river herring and American shad swimming to Casco Bay then returning to their home river as adults. This will fuel our economy, feed local wildlife and increase the biodiversity of the river and its tributaries.
The agreement was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on November 15, 2016. This settlement was developed, negotiated, and advocated for in a very challenging political climate for environmental efforts in Maine. The agreement required Friends of the Presumpscot to make some compromises, but it will ultimately lead to a overwhelmingly positive impact on the river for decades and centuries to come. Without the intervention and steadfast resolve of the Friends of the Presumpscot River this decision never would have been reached.
For more information on the removal of the Saccarappa Dam read this brochure (PDF).