NOAA to support Maine dam removal project to help salmon

FARMINGTON, Maine (AP) — The federal government is going to help fund a dam removal project in Maine that conservationists have said is critical to restoring fish habitat.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is giving more than $300,000 toward the Walton's Mill Dam removal project. The project would remove the only dam on Temple Stream, which is located in the Kennebec River watershed in Maine's western mountains.

NOAA said the removal of the dam would restore access to more than 50 river miles (80 kilometers). That would be helpful to endangered Atlantic salmon, which return to Maine rivers to spawn.

NOAA said in a statement that the removal of the dam would “eliminate a key threat to Atlantic salmon in the freshwater environment and address other habitat-related factors that are inhibiting the recovery of the species.”