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The temporary water barriers used during construction are nolonger needed as water is allowes to equalize between the two sides, during the opening of the new fish passageway at the Baxter Grist Mill Dam is an estimated 1.5 million dollar restoration project that features a concrete notched weir fishway for herring, reinforce the dam and improve the fish ladder at Mill Pond on the Mills Creek, in West Yarmouth, MA on Feb. 3, 2020.

The progressive pool-weir fishway provides an incremental path for fish to swim between two bodies of water that have different elevations, such as here at a dam. The completion of the passage is just one major milestone in this restoration project.

 

An approximate $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources and Conservation Service (N?RCS) and a majority share from the Community Preservation Act has paid for the project.

 

The efforts will benefit six habitats. One of the habitats is the Mill Pond, which is the seasonal home of swan pairs. Water levels and construction activities have successfully been underway without disrupting the swans.

 

The construction will better stabilize the mill, a local tourist attraction. The new spillway will provide better flow through the grist mill. The dam’s earthen embankments will be made more stable with riprap rock and thick sheeting.

 

Since 1710, the Baxter Mill has been at this location. The dam suffered failures about 60 years ago, with subsequent rebuilds. Local funding will provide the restoration of the mill, which has been inoperative for 40 years.

 

NRCS has a proud history of supporting America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners. For more than 80 years, we have helped people make investments in their operations and local communities to keep working lands working, boost rural economies, increase the competitiveness of American agriculture, and improve the quality of our air, water, soil, and habitat.

 

As the USDA’s primary private lands conservation agency, we generate, manage, and share the data, technology, and standards that enable partners and policymakers to make decisions informed by objective, reliable science.

 

And through one-on-one, personalized advice, we work voluntarily with producers and communities to find the best solutions to meet their unique conservation and business goals. By doing so, we help ensure the health of our natural resources and the long-term sustainability of American agriculture.

 

Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) is the Department’s focal point for the nation’s farmers and ranchers and other stewards of private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest lands. FPAC agencies implement programs designed to mitigate the significant risks of farming through crop insurance services, conservation programs, and technical assistance, and commodity, lending, and disaster programs.

 

The agencies and services supporting FPAC are Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Risk Management Agency (RMA).

 

NRCS – NRCS - nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/national/home/

 

FPAC - Farm Production and Conservation - usda.gov/our-agency/about-usda/mission-areas

 

USDA - USDA.gov

 

USDA Photo by Diane B. Petit

. Original public domain image from Flickr

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The temporary water barriers used during construction are nolonger needed as water is allowes to equalize between the two sides, during the opening of the new fish passageway at the Baxter Grist Mill Dam is an estimated 1.5 million dollar restoration project that features a concrete notched weir fishway for herring, reinforce the dam and improve the fish ladder at Mill Pond on the Mills Creek, in West Yarmouth, MA on Feb. 3, 2020.

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