LAWSUIT GETS RESULTS: Alewives in Maine Make Headway on the St. Croix

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osprey with alewife

osprey with alewife (Photo credit: keithcarver)

Posted: 13 Jul 2012 07:45 AM PDT

Pressure is building to reopen the St. Croix River to the alewife, a critical forage fish.

Earlier this week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a letter adopting the recommendations made in our lawsuit seeking  to restore alewives, a key forage and bait fish, to the St. Croix River.

As noted last month, CLF initiated a lawsuit against the EPA due to its failure to review and reject the Maine law that requires an existing fish passage facility at the Grand Falls dam to be closed. You can find the blog post here, explaining why we sued EPA.

As I said in the press statement, “EPA’s letter is a gratifying sign that we’re finally making substantive progress in restoring this important fish to the St. Croix River watershed. As EPA now agrees, this law is scientifically and legally unsupportable. We hope that further litigation is unnecessary to ensure that the state follows the directive of EPA in allowing alewives to return to their native waters.”

Since CLF filed its complaint, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, joined by other Maine Tribes, has formally requested Maine’s Governor Le Page to repeal the state law and, in the alternative, asked the International Joint Commission to invalidate the law. See a copy of the letter here. CLF is working with the Tribes to achieve the goal of restoring alewives to their native waters in the St. Croix watershed

This story was the subject of a front page article by Colin Woodard in the Maine Sunday Telegram. You can find that article here.


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