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Rivers‒Working for You!

July 25, 2019

For Habitat Month, NOAA is celebrating river habitat for fish passage, and how we work for you!


Rivers provide valuable habitat for fish to thrive. As millions of fish migrate to their native river habitats each year to reproduce, they are often blocked from completing their journey. Learn how rivers provide for our economy and our communities, and how NOAA is helping to restore fish passage nationwide.

River Highlights

Interview with a Habitat: River

Float along with NOAA as we interview the Russian River in California and discuss water quantity, riverbank restoration, and more. Learn more about the Russian River


Russian River Estuary

River Habitat

Most Americans live within a mile of a river or a stream. We rely on rivers for drinking water, irrigation, and more. Providing a home for fish, plants, animals, and people, rivers are essential for the survival of many species—including our own. Learn more about river habitat


Elwha River, Washington.

Successful Fish Passage Efforts Across the Nation

Fish passage is important to the protection and restoration of fish and their habitats. Learn more about fish passage

Town Brook MA before after.jpg

River herring on this restored run can now swim to an additional 269 acres of new spawning habitat in the Town Brook watershed. With the removal of the Holmes Dam, more than 200,000 river herring will eventually make their way up Town Brook in future runs, up from 140,000 recently counted. 

Reopening Rivers for Migratory Fish

Every year, millions of fish migrate to their native habitats to reproduce. They are often blocked from completing their journey. When fish can’t reach their habitat, they can’t grow their populations. Learn more about our work to reopen rivers for migratory fish


Fish ladder at Weldon Dam.

Decades of Dam Removal Help Fish Reach their Homes in Historic Plymouth

Take a virtual walk along Town Brook in Massachusetts to see fish passage projects that have reopened the stream, giving migrating herring and eel new access to restored habitats.Learn more about fish passage projects

MA Town Brook billinton_dam_construction 2038x1366 NOAA Fisheries.jpg

Town Brook's Billington Street dam, being removed with support from U.S. Army Reserve 368th Engineer Combat Battalion.

Town Brook Restoration Complete with Removal of Holmes Dam

On Earth Day, April 22, 2019, we will celebrate the completion of the Town Brook restoration in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Learn more about the Town Brook restoration


Town Brook runs free after Holmes Dam removal.

Russian River Habitat Focus Area

Multiple offices within NOAA join an already active community of partners working on these issues in the Russian River watershed. Explore the Russian River Habitat Focus Area


Russian River Habitat Focus Area.

Penobscot River, Maine Habitat Focus Area

NOAA and partners are committed to better managing the Penobscot River ecosystem and recovery of threatened and endangered fish populations. Explore the Penobscot River Habitat Focus Area


Penobscot River.

Habitat Videos

A River Reborn: Restoring Salmon Habitat Along the Duwamish River

The Boeing Company worked with NOAA under a Natural Resource Damage Assessment to restore habitat harmed by historical industrial activities on the Lower Duwamish River. Learn how the project will benefit the community, fish, and wildlife.

Fish Habitat Improvement: Little Rapids Habitat Restoration

Construction of a new bridge between Sault Ste. Marie and Sugar Island.It will allow natural flow to return for the first time in more than 50 years.

Last updated by Office of Habitat Conservation on July 13, 2020