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ST. ANDREWS — A new poll shows an overwhelming majority of people living in St. Stephen and surrounding communities support NB Power’s plan to remove the Milltown Dam, restoring free flow to approximately 15-kilometers of the lower St. Croix River, known traditionally as the Skutik.
The Conservation Council of New Brunswick and Atlantic Salmon Federation commissioned Oraclepoll Research to ask 300 people in the provincial riding of St. Croix about their awareness and impressions of the dam removal project.
More than nine in 10 respondents, 91 per cent, were aware of NB Power’s plan, announced last year and a strong majority, 87 per cent of respondents, said they support the planned removal. The main reasons people cited were benefits to the river ecosystem and fish populations in particular.
The dam removal is one component of a comprehensive Skutik River restoration plan being led by the Peskotomuhkati Nation which includes habitat enhancement throughout the watershed and fish passage improvement at other dams upstream from Milltown. The Conservation Council and other watershed and environmental organizations are participating in the restoration efforts.
Ensuring migratory fish species like alewife, American eel, and Atlantic salmon have access to their native habitat is a cornerstone of successful restoration.
The telephone poll, conducted in early July, surveyed 300 people in the provincial riding of St. Croix which includes the communities of St. Stephen, St. Andrews, McAdam, and Campobello. The statistical error rate was determined to be 5.6%, 19 times out of 20 times.
Neville Crabbe, ASF
Jon MacNeill, CCNB