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North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative

Both a network of partners and a source of shared resources, the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC) offers a collaborative framework for taking on the critical task of assessing and upgrading the hundreds of thousands of outdated road-stream crossings across the region that represent barriers to wildlife movement and pose flooding risks to communities. The NAACC offers training in standard protocols for conducting assessments, online tools for prioritizing upgrades based on ecological benefits, and a database of road-stream crossings encompassing the 13 Northeast states.

Go to the Product(s)

The following products all live on the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative website:

  • Web map showing results of sub-watershed prioritization (HUC 12) to inform field surveys
  • Protocols for collecting stream crossing survey data
  • Regional database of road-stream crossings
  • Toolkit for Climate-Friendly Stream Crossings

The Northeast Aquatic Connectivity project's Aquatic Barrier Prioritization tool is hosted by The Nature Conservancy.

Additional Resources

Recording (YouTube) of "Assessing Transportation Vulnerability and Ecological Disruption of Road-stream Crossings in the Deerfield River Watershed" presented by University of Massachusetts Amherst Extension Associate Professor Scott Jackson on October 12, 2017

Presentation slides (pptx) from "Assessing Transportation Vulnerability and Ecological Disruption of Road-stream Crossings in the Deerfield River Watershed" presented by University of Massachusetts Amherst Extension Associate Professor Scott Jackson on October 12, 2017

Technical description

The North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC) is a network of individuals from universities, conservation organizations, and state and federal natural resource and transportation departments focused on improving aquatic connectivity across a thirteen-state region, from Maine to West Virginia.

The NAACC has developed common protocols and training for assessing road-stream crossings (culverts and bridges) and developed a regional database for this field data. The information collected will be used to identify high priority bridges and culverts for upgrade and replacement.

The NAACC will support planning and decision making by providing information about where restoration projects are likely to bring the greatest improvements in aquatic connectivity. The NAACC has created a subwatershed prioritization map to help focus survey efforts in the project area, as well as a customizable prioritization tool for use with ArcGIS Desktop.

Case Studies and News Stories

"Helping Roaring Brook roar" - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of the Northeast blog

"Your commute to work: Does a river run through it?" - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region Conserving the Nature of the Northeast blog

"Collaborative unites partners to address aquatic connectivity across the Northeast" - North Atlantic LCC news

"Connecting partners to reconnect streams in the Northeast" - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region Conserving the Nature of the Northeast blog

"Prioritizing road-stream crossings in the Taunton River watershed" - North Atlantic LCC Conservation in Action case study

Project Contact(s):

, Extension Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts Amherst

, Conservation Advisor for Climate Adaptation and Transportation, The Nature Conservancy Adirondacks Program

LCC Staff Contact(s):

, Science Coordinator

North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative
Resource Type: Amphibians, Ecosystems, Fish
Conservation Targets: Coastal and Marine, Freshwater aquatic
Conservation Framework: Biological Planning, Conservation Delivery
Threats/Stressors: Water quality and supply
Conservation Action: Site/area protection, Site/area management, Habitat and natural process restoration, Species management, Species recovery