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. The River Continuity Partnership is a collaborative effort with DER, the University of Massachusetts Extension, The Nature Conservancy, and other nonprofit and agency partners.
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.
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 Timothy.Chorey@state.ma.us.
Stream Continuity Resources
North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative
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 file size 3MB (pdf)
(Updated June 2012)
Massachusetts Stream Crossing Poster file size 2MB