For Immediate Release - May 11, 2009

Local Trout Unlimited Chapters Win $18,000 in Grants for Support of State-Sponsored Stream Restoration Projects

BOSTON - The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) today announced that $18,000 in grants to two Massachusetts Trout Unlimited chapters by the non-profit organization's national office will boost state efforts to restore two trout streams in the Commonwealth.

The Southeast Massachusetts Chapter received $8,800 toward the restoration of Red Brook in Wareham and Plymouth , and the Hoosuck Chapter was awarded $10,000 toward the restoration of Thunder Brook in Cheshire. Funding support comes from Trout Unlimited's Embrace-A-Stream program, which provides assistance to local chapters engaged in work to restore coldwater streams.

"The Patrick Administration is pleased to participate in partnerships like this one where private organizations and the state work side-by-side to protect the environment for future generations," Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles said. "We thank Trout Unlimited for its local and nationwide commitment to protecting clean water."

"Our Riverways Program works with municipalities, environmental organizations, federal agencies, and other state partners to restore aquatic habitat and fish passage throughout the Commonwealth," said DFG Commissioner Mary Griffin. "We are very grateful to Trout Unlimited for continuing to support our restoration work."

Embrace-A-Stream is the flagship grant program for funding Trout Unlimited grassroots conservation efforts. Funding is provided primarily by Trout Unlimited members with additional support in 2009 provided by Costa del Mar and the FishAmerica Foundation. An Embrace-A-Stream Committee comprised of Trout Unlimited volunteer representatives and scientific advisors evaluates all proposed projects and makes the awards. In 2009, the Embrace-A-Stream program will provide over $180,000 to 25 projects in 15 states. Projects will fund stream habitat restoration, youth education, fish passage improvement, and water quality protection. Since the program's inception in 1976, Embrace-A-Stream has funded more than 900 individual projects with approximately $3.6 million in grants.

"Trout Unlimited fully appreciates the successful public-private partnership that has made the restoration of Red Brook a national model," said Warren Winders of the Trout Unlimited Southeast Massachusetts Chapter.

"Trout Unlimited continues to be an important ally of The Trustees in our mission to preserve irreplaceable natural resources such as Red Brook," said Brian DeGasperis, regional ecologist for The Trustees of Reservations. "The Embrace-A-Stream award demonstrates Trout Unlimited's longstanding commitment to achieving our mutual restoration and conservation goals at the Lyman Reserve."

"It's a real honor for us to receive this grant from the national Trout Unlimited office," said Joseph Overlock, Hoosuck Trout Unlimited Chapter President. "We are fortunate here in Massachusetts to have a Department of Fish and Game that is committed river restoration and to coldwater conservation."

"Thunder and Red Brook share the common threat of climate change," said Riverways Acting Director Tim Purinton. "These restoration funds will help improve coldwater conditions, making these streams more resilient to climate change and giving the aquatic species a better chance to adapt to warmer water and more unpredictable flow conditions."

Wareham and Plymouth

Red Brook Restoration

Red Brook is a coldwater stream that supports sea run "salter" brook trout and other river dependent fish species in Wareham and Plymouth. The brook flows through wetlands and former cranberry bogs managed cooperatively by DFG's Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) and The Trustees of Reservations.

The Trustees have been a major part of a multi-year effort by the Riverways Program, MassWildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, A.D. Makepeace, American Rivers, the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, and Trout Unlimited to remove obsolete dams and improve the instream habitat of Red Brook. The Embrace-A-Stream funds will support efforts to enhance stream habitat for trout and other fish on The Trustees of Reservations' Lyman Reserve.

Cheshire

Thunder Brook Restoration

Thunder Brook is a high-quality coldwater stream that originates on the eastern slope of Mount Greylock, the state's highest mountain. The stream provides habitat for native brook trout and other coldwater species. Thunder Brook, a cold water stream which is home trout and other aquatic species, is blocked by the Thunder Brook Dam in Cheshire. The dam was originally constructed to augment town water supply, but has been abandoned since the 1970s.

A preliminary study examining the feasibility of dam removal was conducted by the Riverways Program in fiscal year 2008. The Embrace-A-Stream funds will support water quality monitoring and river restoration designs. The Hoosic River Watershed Association is a major partner of the Town of Cheshire and the Hoosuck Chapter on the Thunder Brook restoration project.