The current building was donated by Bangor Hydro. Members with the Downeast Salmon Federation say it was in rough shape when they first acquired it, but thanks to a $100,000 grant from USDA Rural Development they were able to renovate it.
” It’s going to be used to do research on the wild Atlantic Salmon population and Maine Rivers are the largest habitat of wild Atlantic Salmon in the United States,” said USDA Rural Development State Director, Virginia Manuel.
This is only phase two of their project. The next phase will include classroom spaces, a community meeting room along with much more.
USDA hopes to follow them through it all.
” Once we support a project like this we are interested in its growth and progress. There’s a chance we could be doing future work with the center and hope we have the opportunity to do that,” said Manuel.
The center hopes to connect with the community.
” We’re working very closely with Umaine Machias and Washington Academy here in East Machias and other area schools. We bring students into the program to get them involved with their rivers and with their fisheries,” said Shaw.
The visitor center is open for anyone to stop by and get a tour and a lesson too.
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