The Eastern United States is densely populated and faces a host of environmental challenges ranging from air pollution to overdevelopment to growing demands for ground and surface water. Throughout the region, TU staff and volunteers are rolling up their sleeves to work for healthier watersheds and to protect and restore wild trout populations.
From Maine Atlantic salmon to Georgia brook trout, TU is working to ensure that even within close driving distance of our major eastern cities, future generations will be able to fish for native and wild trout and salmon. Our current areas of focus include:
Eastern Land Protection Project: With so much of their native habitat degraded across the East Coast, Eastern brook trout can’t afford to lose any more healthy streams. TU partners with land trusts to protect and restore critical habitat, and advocates for land protection funding. Specific focus in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the southeastern states.
Marcellus Shale Project: An unprecedented gas drilling rush is underway in the Marcellus shale, which underlies five Eastern states. TU is working to make sure that drilling is done responsibly, despite inconsistent environmental laws and underfunded regulatory agencies.
Maine Brook Trout Project: Maine has the East's best remaining brook trout. To project these fish, TU is using the CSI to advocate for better fishery management; creating partnerships with outfitters and lodges to generate ecotourism dollars; and collaborating with timber companies and land trusts to improve harvest practices.
The Eastern Water Project: Finite water supplies, gas drilling, development pressures and global climate change have led to droughts and water shortages in the East. Across the region, TU staff and volunteers work to reform state water policy.
New England Culvert Project: By removing, replacing or retrofitting currently impassable stream crossings, TU aims to reconnect Eastern brook trout habitat in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. This work will inform similar efforts throughout New England.
Penobscot River Restoration Project (ME): In partnership with other conservation groups, state and federal agencies, the Penobscot Indian Nation and PPL Corp, TU is helping to restore 1,000 miles of habitat on Maine’s largest river for Atlantic salmon and 10 other species of sea-run fish.
Delaware River Project (NY, PA, NJ): Building on the success of its restoration projects on the Beaverkill River and Willowemoc Creek, TU is advocating for strong protections on gas drilling in the watershed and for instream flows that meet the needs of coldwater fish and thirsty citizens in New York City.
Eastern Abandoned Mine Program: According to the EPA, toxic runoff from abandoned coal mines is the single largest threat to the Appalachian environment. Building on its pioneering mine remediation work in Pennsylvania, TU is helping to clean up abandoned mines throughout the region.
Millennium Stream Improvement Fund (NY): In partnership with the Millennium Pipeline Company and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, TU is implementing habitat restoration projects in eight counties in the Catskills Region of New York.
Musconetcong Home Rivers Initiative (NJ): Despite its close proximity to New York City, the Musky still harbors native brook trout, including a strain that dates back more than 10,000 years. TU works to protect open space along the river and mitigate the effects of agriculture, dams and development through restoration projects.
Nash Stream Project (NH): TU is restoring habitat for wild brook trout and the eventual return of Atlantic salmon in Nash Stream. The project also provides stream restoration expertise to other TU efforts in the Northeast.
Potomac Headwaters Home Rivers Initiative (WV): Long before it reaches the nation’s capital, the Potomac is a native brook trout fishery flowing through farmland, abandoned coal mines and small rural communities. TU works with local students and partner groups to plant trees, install fences and restore habitat.
Salmon Kill Project (CT): An important tributary to the Housatonic, the banks of the Salmon Kill suffer from historical agricultural and industrial impacts. TU is working with local landowners and partners on an extensive flood plain and instream restoration project to enhance the creek's native trout populations.
Shenandoah Headwaters Home Rivers Initiative (VA): Through collaborative efforts with local farmers to improve water quality, TU is working to bring wild brook trout back to mountain streams and valley spring creeks in the Shenandoah Valley.
Upper Connecticut Home Rivers Initiative (VT, NH): Historical timber harvests, perched or blocked culverts, and small dams have all degraded brook trout habitat in the Upper Connecticut. TU is working with timber companies, municipalities and private landowners on large-scale restoration projects to address these issues.