Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that she secured $4,459,000 to restore Caribou Mill Pond in the draft Fiscal Year 2023 Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill.
As the Ranking Member and lead Republican on the Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins secured funding for this project in the bill, which was officially released by the full Senate Appropriations Committee today and must now be voted upon by the full Senate and House.
“Caribou Mill Pond is a wonderful natural resource for the Caribou community, but the deterioration of the dam has negatively affected the water quality and limited the habitat for wildlife,” said Senator Collins. “Restoring the pond will enhance recreational, fishing, and birding opportunities for local families and visitors. Additionally, the pond can serve as an outdoor classroom when it is once again thriving with aquatic reptiles, fish, birds, ducks and aquatic plants. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to champion this funding as the appropriations process moves forward.”
Caribou Mill Pond is over 124 years old and was originally used to hold logs awaiting to be milled, making it a key part of Caribou’s history. In recent years, however, the water level has dropped by several feet due to the deterioration of the crest of the dam and flashboards. The reduction in the water level has led to significant vegetation growth along the bank from more dry conditions and decreasing acreage and volume of water in the pond.
To remedy this and preserve the Pond, this funding would support a project by the Caribou Parks and Recreation Foundation to excavate the pond, remove vegetation, rebuild the dam, and build a fish passage.
With the dam rebuilt and the fish passage installed, the environment will be suitable to increase the wild brook trout population and other fish. In addition, Caribou Mill Pond is known to be a popular destination for waterfowl, and this project will help increase habitat for these birds.