Safe and stable stream crossings can accommodate wildlife and protect stream health while reducing expensive erosion and structural damage. Stream Continuity works to reduce impediments to movement of fish, wildlife and other aquatic life that require instream passage. 
Culvert Measuring
Culvert Measuring
Perched Culvert
Perched Culvert

Technical Assistance for Culvert Replacements

DER is working to help municipalities replace undersized and unsafe culverts with ones that allow for natural stream flow processes, provide aquatic organism passage, and improve storm readiness. New regulatory standards in Massachusetts call for structures  to span the stream and provide a natural substrate bottom. Towns interested in seeking technical assistance for culvert replacement projects can reach the DER Stream Continuity Program and Tim Chorey at 617-626-1541 or by email at


Road-Stream Crossing Surveying

Volunteers continue to survey the 30,000 road-stream crossings throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to determine the location and extent of barriers to the movement of fish and wildlife.Surveys are conducted following the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC) protocols. To be certified as a lead observer or coordinator, a person must satisfy three training components:

  • Protocol training either in-person (3 hours) or online. Everyone must go online to pass the training questions.
  • In-person field training (4-6 hours)
  • Shadowing an experienced observer at 20 sites

If you are interested in starting a survey in your community and wish to receive training by one of our staff members, please contact: Carrie Banks, DER's and NAACC Massachusetts State Coordinator, 413-579-3015.

For more information  Massachusetts Road-Stream Crossings Survey Trainings  pdf format of Massachusetts Road-Stream Crossings Survey Trainings


Stream Continuity Resources

North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative

Stream Crossing Toolkit

Road-Stream Crossing Inventory Database

Stream Crossing Handbook and Poster

 The Stream Crossing Handbook and Poster, below, are designed to inform and educate local decision makers and conservationists about the importance of properly designed stream crossings. The Stream Crossing Standards, as described in the Handbook are required as part of the Army Corps of Engineers Programmatic General Permit, and should be used when designing new crossings on perennial streams. Every town Conservation Commission and Department of Public Works has received a copy for their use in permitting, designing and maintaining stream crossings. Please download and share the information from the handbook, encourage your town to hang the poster, and support the use of the standards in your community.

Massachusetts Stream Crossing Handbook pdf format of Massachusetts Stream Crossing Handbook
file size 3MB (pdf)
(Updated June 2012) 

Massachusetts Stream Crossing Poster  pdf format of Massachusetts Stream Crossing Poster
file size 2MB

Additional Stream Continuity Documents and Links

North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative

Massachusetts Stream Crossing Standards (March 1, 2011)

Army Corp of Engineers Massachusetts General Permit

Gulf of Maine Times Article on Culverts

Riversmart Communities

Maine StreamSmart  

Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System