FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 22, 2014. Greenfield, MA – The Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) joins more than 150 organizations around the world to celebrate the first World Fish Migration Day this Saturday, May 24. World Fish Migration Day (WFMD) is a one-day global initiative to raise awareness about the importance of open rivers and migratory fish. The public is invited to join CRWC at the Robert E. Barrett Fishway in Holyoke, MA for a free tour at 11am on Saturday. Visitors can watch two lifts carry migrating fish over the Holyoke Dam and then see the fish up close in a viewing window as they continue their journey up the Connecticut River. For more information, visithttp://goo.gl/qzHLOV. For directions to the fishway, visit www.hged.com/fishway.

“Over the years, we’ve created many obstacles for migratory fish to overcome as they return to our rivers from the ocean,” says CRWC Executive Director Andrew Fisk. “But there has also been lots of great work throughout New England to remove those obstacles and make our rivers more fish-friendly. Thanks to the support of our members and many great partners, we have been working on projects to benefit fish all along the Connecticut River basin.” Migratory fish such as American shad, blueback herring, and alewives are vital to the wider global ecosystem and ensure that both our rivers and our oceans remain healthy. Over the decades, CRWC has helped to remove many dams throughout the watershed as well as improving river habitat by restoring miles of riverbanks. Recent projects include installing a fish ladder that opened this spring on the Rogers Lake Dam on the Mill Brook in Connecticut, planting over 7,500 trees and shrubs along streams to reduce erosion and improve fish habitat, and removing a dam on the upper Wells River in Vermont later this year.

About World Fish Migration Day

World Fish Migration Day events commence in New Zealand and, following the sun, finish as it sets in Hawaii. This international day will bring global attention to the need to ensure that natural river networks remain connected and, where they are fragmented, to ensure that they are restored wherever possible, in order to achieve healthy fish populations and productive rivers. The common theme running throughout the events is ‘Connecting fish, rivers and people.’ More than 250 exciting events have been planned, as Herman Wanningen, the Coordinator of World Fish Migration Day, explains, “Event organizers around the world are hosting inspiring activities, including the celebration of the removal of a dam in Japan, a fish way tour in the Kruger National Park and the inauguration of over 20 new fish passage facilities around the globe.”

About the Connecticut River Watershed Council

The Connecticut River Watershed Council works to protect the watershed from source to sea. As stewards of this heritage, we celebrate our four-state treasure and collaborate, educate, organize, restore and intervene to preserve its health for generations to come. Our work informs our vision of economic and ecological abundance. To learn more about CRWC, or to make a contribution to help protect the Connecticut River, visit www.ctriver.org or call 413-772-2020, ext. 201.

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CONTACT:                                                                      

Andrew Fisk, CRWC Executive Director, afisk@ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 208, cell 413-210-9207

Angela Mrozinski, CRWC Outreach & Events Director, amrozinski@ctriver.org, 413-772-2020 ext. 204