Fifteen-Mile Falls Mitigation & Enhancement Fund
The Fifteen-Mile Falls Mitigation and Enhancement Fund has been making grants since 2002 to local community organizations for river restoration, wetland protection and shoreland protection projects throughout the Vermont and New Hampshire reach of the watershed from the White River to the Connecticut Lakes. The Connecticut River Watershed Council was a driving force in the establishment of the Fund and continues to provide strategic leadership to identify successful outreach projects that help to mitigate the effects of the Fifteen-Mile Falls hydroelectric project’s three dams.
Creation of the Fifteen-Mile Falls Mitigation and Enhancement Fund
Rated at 296 MWh generating capacity, the Fifteen-Mile Falls (FMF) hydroelectric project is the largest hydroelectric generating complex in New England. The project reservoirs bury 26 miles of free flowing river, including Milligan’s Pitch, the largest falls on the river. As a hydro facility, its value to the New England electric energy grid is providing power on short notice during peak demand times such as hot August days or frigid February nights.
For all that we need the power from FMF, it still negatively impacts the Connecticut River. CRWC was one of the primary stakeholders involved in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensing process for FMF, which expired in 2000. Through the relicensing procedure, which began in 1994, CRWC and other stakeholders agreed to allow the company to provide peaking power in exchange for offsets to improve or protect other areas of the river.
Along with changes in the operation of the dams to protect the river and the aquatic life in the Connecticut River, one of the negotiated outcomes was the establishment of the Fifteen-Mile Falls Mitigation and Enhancement Fund. To offset FMF’s negative effects on the River, a portion of income generated by the hydroelectric dams goes into the Fund to support river restoration, wetland protection and shoreland protection projects.
To apply for funding from the Fifteen-Mile Falls Mitigation and Enhancement Fund, download the following documents:
MEF Grant Application Coversheet click here [DOC 120KB]
MEF Grant Application Guidelines click here [PDF 70KB]
MEF Proposal Evaluation Criteria click here [PDF 40KB]
MEF Previous Grants click here [PDF 30KB]
Map: Louis Berger & Associates, Inc. 1996
Image Credits at Right - Illustrations: Bill Singleton; Photos: Elisabeth Cianciola, David Deen, ©Chris Hardie, ©Al Braden www.albradenphoto.com, River Music drawn by Tom Dudley - Greenfield Recorder, CRWC Staff.