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Restoring Natural Habitats

August 22, 2013
By Emily Clegg, The Nature Conservancy
Published in Precast Solutions, Summer 2013

In stewarding our natural resources, we can’t be too cautious about protecting the aquatic life in our rivers and streams. Indeed, thousands of manmade dams and stream diversions have seriously degraded and obstructed the natural habitat of our native fisheries. But that’s precisely where precast concrete can help.

A case in point is the Great Lakes Basin. This vast area is home to more than 30 million people in the United States and Canada, covers about 295,000 square miles, and contains about 354,800 miles of rivers and streams. The five Great Lakes hold one-fifth of the world’s freshwater surface, making this area one of the most valuable natural resources in North America. The Great Lakes commercial and recreational fishery alone is worth more than $4 billion per year and is home to more than 150 species of fish.

Many of these species of fish and other organisms rely upon moving freely throughout the Great Lakes and their tributaries to access habitats for spawning and rearing. Therefore, ensuring the connectivity of these systems is vital. Recent estimates indicate that more than 275,000 manmade dams and stream crossings exist in the Great Lakes Basin. That equates to a manmade structure approximately every 1.25 river miles in every river and stream flowing into the Great Lakes.

Download Precast Solutions, Summer 2013 to read more (pg 16-23).


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