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Advocating for tidal estuary restoration.

When the Maine Department of Transportation constructed the old Route 1 in 1934, it erected a dam on the Marsh River, over which the road passed until the present-day Route 1 bridge was built above the dam. The dam's construction blocked off a section of tidal marsh and created what is now known as Sherman Lake in Edgecomb, Maine. This fall, heavy rains toppled the dam, draining the lake and returning the area to its original state.

A debate has ensued as to whether DOT should reconstruct the dam and restore a freshwater lake or leave the tidal marsh as is, restoring the natural ecosystem of the area. CLF is advocating against dam reconstruction, arguing that DOT should promote tidal marsh restoration. Since the dam's collapse, the area will naturally start recovering as an estuary with each tidal cycle. The artificial lake was rapidly filling with silt and a healthy estuary would provide greater benefits to both the ecosystem and abutters' land values.

Estuaries are home to unique and abundant wildlife, provide a buffer zone for flooding during storms, and serve as natural water filtration systems, diluting harmful pollutants before they enter the watershed. As a member of the nationwide coalition Restore America's Estuaries, CLF is working to restore estuaries across New England.
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Title Annotation:Maine
Publication:Conservation Matters
Date:Jan 1, 2006
Previous Article:New England's unique shorelines.
Next Article:Opposing expanded development on barrier beach.

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