The North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC) began in 2015 with startup funding from the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NALCC) and US Department of the Interior (DOI) Hurricane Sandy Mitigation funds. This funding allowed the University of Massachusetts Amherst to convene a group of experienced people from the Northeastern US who, with the assistance of a technical advisory committee that included over 70 partners, developed a unified protocol for assessing aquatic passability at road-stream crossings and developed a programmatic infrastructure (the NAACC) to support crossing assessments throughout the 13-state North Atlantic region. Organizations represented in this original core group included: The Nature Conservancy, Gulf of Maine Coastal Program, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, US Fish and Wildlife Service, North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative, USDA Forest Service, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The NAACC is a participatory network of practitioners united in their efforts to enhance aquatic connectivity. Thus far the NAACC has:

  • Developed a unified protocol, electronic data form, scoring system, and database for road-stream crossing assessments that can help identify bridges and culverts that are problematic from an aquatic connectivity perspective
  • Launched an in-person and online training and certification program to ensure data quality
  • Created an online database that serves as a common repository for crossing assessment data, including data collected by assessment protocols that pre-date the NAACC
  • Developed web-based tools to identify high priority watersheds and crossings for assessment, and to prioritize crossings for upgrade or replacement
  • Encouraged and supported efforts to conduct crossing assessments throughout the region
  • Begun development of additional crossing assessment modules including: aquatic passability for tidal stream, terrestrial wildlife passability, and culvert condition

The project supports planning and decision-making by providing tools and information on where restoration projects are likely to have the greatest aquatic connectivity benefits and resiliency benefits.

NAACC Organization

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is responsible for Central Coordination of the NAACC.

Scott Jackson (NAACC Project Leader)

Bob English (NAACC Data Center Director)

The central coordinators are advised by a Steering Committee that includes:

Alex Abbott, Gulf of Maine Coastal Program

Carrie Banks, MA Division of Ecological Restoration

William Eldridge, VT Fish and Wildlife Department

Corbin Gosier, NY Dept of Environmental Conservation

Robert Gubernick, US Forest Service

Phil Herzig, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Thomas Hoffman, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Joshua LaFountain, The Nature Conservancy

John Magee, NH Fish and Game Department

Andrew Milliken, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Amy Wolfe, Trout Unlimited

Contributing Members

University of Massachusetts Amherst

US Fish and Wildlife Service

New York Department of Environmental Services

Massachusetts Environmental Trust

New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife

MA Division of Ecological Restoration

The Nature Conservancy

Trout Unlimited


The NAACC is a partner in the Staying Connected Initiative

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