The North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC) is a network of individuals from universities, conservation organizations, environmental businesses, and state and federal natural resource and transportation agencies focused on improving aquatic connectivity across a thirteen-state region, from Maine to Virginia. The NAACC has developed common protocols for assessing road-stream crossings (culverts and bridges) and a regional database that allows for the storage, scoring and retrieval of field data. In 2015, the NAACC released a protocol for assessment aquatic connectivity for non-tidal streams. A Tidal Stream Crossing Assessment protocol was developed in 2019 as a complement to the non-tidal protocol. These two crossing assessment protocols are rapid assessment methodologies designed to provide a rough assessment of the barrier effects of culverts and bridges on aquatic organism passage. Data from these assessments are incorporated into an aquatic barriers prioritization tool developed by The Nature Conservancy and Critical Linkages analyses conducted by UMass Amherst. These prioritization systems quantify or rank restoration potential for each crossing and can be used to identify high priority bridges and culverts for upgrade or replacement. Two decision support tools, the NAACC Stream Crossing Explorer and the Aquatic Connectivity Scenario Analysis Tool, were developed to assist in the prioritization of crossings for upgrade or replacement. In additional to aquatic passability modules, the NAACC also has new protocols for assessing culvert condition and passability of road-stream crossings for terrestrial wildlife.
Climate change: adaptation, mitigation, resilience
Aquatic Organism Passage