Massachusetts Stream Crossing Handbook

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

The Stream Crossing Handbook and Poster 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 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, 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

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

10 Ways Conservation Commissions and Others Can Help Protect Coldwater Streams and Their Inhabitants

This document was first presented at the MACC Environmental Conference, in 2008 and has been recently updated. 

10 Ways Conservation Commissions and Others Can Help Protect Coldwater Streams and Their Inhabitants  pdf format of 10 Ways to Help Protect Coldwater Streams

Trees Paddlers Wildlife Presentation 

This presentation is intended to educate paddlers and others about why trees are good for riverine organisms and habitats and to encourage their retention except where significant safety hazards exist. Even then look for the minimum action possible (e.g., judicious pruning or relocation of the vegetation rather than complete removal) to abate the hazard.

trees_paddlers_wildlife_presentation.pdf  pdf format of trees_paddlers_wildlife_presentation.pdf
file size 5MB

Fact Sheets on Functions and Values of Riparian Areas

Originally published in 1997 and recently updated, this series of fact sheets substantiate the sound science justifying the protections afforded riparian areas by the passage of the Rivers Protection Act in 1996 and the issuance of regulations implementing the Act in 1997. The nine fact sheets are intended to educate municipal officials, riparian land owners and managers, and others about why protecting, maintaining and restoring naturally-vegetated riparian areas is critical to safeguarding their ecological and other beneficial functions. To facilitate the applicability of the science set out in the DER fact sheets to the implementation of the Rivers Act and regulations, the first eight fact sheets (#s 1-8, see below) correspond with the eight enumerated interests of the Wetlands and Rivers Acts. Fact Sheet #9 was prepared to substantiate the sound science justifying the necessity for a “rivers” protection act to apply to smaller brooks and streams as well as to the larger rivers.

riparian area