Featured mission: Flying over the Kennebec River with Maine Rivers
View looking at the Kennebec River flowing through farmlands near Sidney, Maine.
Image captured by Landis Hudson, Maine Rivers.
LightHawk volunteer pilot Scott Cianchette flew a mission for Maine Rivers, a nonprofit organization based out of Yarmouth, Maine. The mission of Maine River is to protect, restore and enhance the health and vitality of Maine's rivers. The Maine Rivers team included Executive Director, Landis Husdon and Project Manager, Matthew Seeter and flew out of Brunswick Executive in Scott's Bonanza.
Beginning from the western outlet of Maine's Moosehead Lake, the Kennebec River flows 170 miles and drains nearly 5,900 square miles before entering the ocean near Popham Beach. The last time Maine Rivers staff were able to see the watershed was nearly a decade ago. It was time to fly again and assess the changes to the main river and its tributaries. LightHawk was able to provide Maine Rivers staff a long overdue return to the sky above the river. Images and the flight experience will be used in their informational materials, policy discussions, and outreach to supporters across Maine.
Several days after the flight, Landis Hudson remarked, "Maine Rivers has been an active member of the Kennebec Coalition for the past decade, advocating for the removal of four mainstem dams that block endangered Atlantic salmon, as well as the other co-evolved sea-run species. It's a huge, ambitious and unbelievably complex effort. While a part of that effort, Maine Rivers led and completed the China Lake Alewife Restoration Initiative – also a complicated and ambitious project. NOAA recently released a Biological Opinion that has given the Kennebec Coalition the need to regroup and reconsider how we move forward.
The science for our work is solid, the procedural and communications part is hard. This flight over the Kennebec was a very helpful way to take stock of our efforts in different parts of the watershed – from places where we've had success (China Lake, Temple Stream) to areas where we are still working hard and facing serious uphill struggles (Cobbossee watershed, mainstem Kennebec). While each of these important restoration efforts is separate, seeing the actual river and stream connections from the air is helpful, and will help us tell the story."
Sandy River, the most important spawning ground for the endangered Atlantic salmon. The value of the excellent habitat is visible from the air but remains inaccessible to anadromous species, including Atlantic salmon, American shad and river herring.
Photo captured by Landis Hudson/Maine Rivers/LightHawk
Thank you to volunteer pilot Scott Cianchette for making this flight happen. The images and the experience will help guide future planning efforts for enhanced fish passage structures and the creation of new policies regarding management and decommissioning of dams that no longer provide cost effective electricity.
One of four primary dams impeding natural flows and fish passage located in Waterville, Maine. Photo by Landis Hudson/Maine Rivers/Lighthawk
Join us in Bend, Oregon this October for our Annual Meeting & Fly-In
On October 27-29, 2023, LightHawk volunteer pilots, conservation partners, staff and guests will gather for our Annual Meeting & Fly-In.
We're excited to get together once again to reconnect with friends and colleagues in a beautiful location. Join us in Bend, Oregon to celebrate our accomplishments, learn from each other and look ahead to
We'll have presentations from aviation experts, conservation partners and more over the course of the weekend along with the usual Volunteer Pilot Awards and dinner featuring a special keynote speaker.
Riverhouse on the Deschutes
3075 N. Business 97
Bend, OR 97703
Phone: (541) 389-3111
LightHawk Photo of the Month
Photo by Sarah Dyrdahl, American Rivers
On a recent flight in Washington, Sarah Dyrdahl with American Rivers captured this photo of the Howard Hanson Dam on the Green River. The goal of the flight was to educate local leaders and potential donors on the restoration/conservation opportunities in the Green-Duwamish in the context of overall
watershed health and to build momentum for future restoration in the lower portions of the river. The flyover allowed them to view the entire watershed in a very short period of time - including conditions, challenges, and constraints. Nothing beats the aerial perspective when it comes to getting a big-picture view and covering more ground in a short amount of time.
Support LightHawk and make conservation fly!
LightHawk's mission is as important today as it has ever been. Working with partners across the country, we're bringing the gift of aviation to conservation issues. Thanks to LightHawk and its community of volunteer pilots, our conservation partners are able to accomplish more, in less time - preserving important resources. Your gift lifts our wings and brings success to projects sooner. You can make conservation fly!
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