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Restoring Aquatic Connectivity and Increasing Flood Resilience

Collaboratively Restoring Aquatic Connectivity while Increasing Resiliency for Culverts and Road Stream Crossings to Future Floods

This project brings together the major partners involved in road-stream crossings to assess river and stream continuity and set priorities for restoring connectivity, and reducing flood damage to road crossings, within the North Atlantic region.

This project is being closely coordinated with a companion project funded by the Department of Interior's Hurricane Sandy Mitigation Funds.

In 2011, intense and sustained rain from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee washed out roads throughout mountains of New York and New England as culverts running under those roads were not designed to handle such enormous volumes of water.  Additional flooding from Hurricane Sandy, which lashed the Northeast coast and adjacent inland areas in October 2012, caused additional damage. The widespread effects of these massive storms underscore the need for a regional science-based approach to prioritize and increase the resiliency of roads to floods.

Improving the resiliency of roads has multiple benefits beyond protecting human health, safety, and property. Upgrading, repairing or replacing culverts can also increase connectivity and movement of fish and wildlife. This addresses a critical problem because aquatic systems in the Northeast are extremely fragmented by undersized or damaged road culverts that are unfit to provide passage for fish, other aquatic organisms and wildlife. Beyond their in-stream benefits, fish-friendly culverts also help sustain nearby wetlands and floodplains while they nourish coastal beaches with sediment. The full project description is available here.  

The objectives of this project are to:

  1. Creation of network of people and organizations in the North Atlantic region collaborating in the assessment of road-stream crossing and working to restore aquatic connectivity
  2. Reconfigure River and Stream Continuity online database and compile data from field assessments of road-stream crossings that have already been conducted
  3. Reconcile various road-stream assessment protocols and scoring systems currently in use throughout the North Atlantic region
  4. Develop a recommended suite of protocols for use across the North Atlantic region
  5. Create an infrastructure to support collection of road-stream crossing data in an integrated fashion across the North Atlantic region
  6. Final report and delivery of electronic data


LCC Staff Contact: , Science Coordinator

Project leaders successfully organized a team of Northeast and North Atlantic partners in the fall of 2014. This team includes a project core group (steering committee) and work group (advisory committee) were established and the name “North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative” (NAACC) was adopted. These groups meet regularly and hold webinars on survey prioritization and protocol. The database continues to be updated and improved, and is able to accept data from all states in the region. Prioritization of area for field surveys has been completed and field trainings are planned for the spring. A grant extension request was approved in June 2015 to allow the project leaders the full 18 months to complete the project, from the date funds became available. 

Quarterly Reports

2015 April-June Quarterly Report - Aquatic Connectivity
2015 Jan-March Quarterly Report - Aquatic Connectivity
2014 Oct-Dec Quarterly Report - Aquatic Connectivity
2014 July-Sept. Quarterly Report - Aquatic Connectivity
2014 April-June Quarterly Report - Aquatic Connectivity

Grant Extension Request

Final Report

North Atlantic LCC Funding: $150,000

Available on the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative Product page or website:

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