Forming over 100 miles of the Canada-United States border between southwestern New Brunswick and northeastern Maine, the St. Croix River is an important landmark. The Canadian Heritage Rivers System has taken many initiatives in restoring the river to its natural state for cultural and recreation purposes. Similar to the Native American ties to the river Canada has also made claims to the connection with native tribes. Some archaeological sites showing evidence of 4,000 years of settlement by native cultures such as the Susquahanna Indians. The St. Croix River also provides many recreational opportunities. In 1982, it received special recognition and protection by a New Brunswick Order-in-Council declaring it the St. Croix Waterway Recreation Area. In the same year, the Maine Department of Conservation, in cooperation with the U.S. National Parks Service, conducted a comprehensive assessment of Maine's river resources, which came to be known as the Maine Rivers Study. The Maine Rivers Study classifies the St. Croix River as an 'A' river, meaning though hydro alterations are allowed the river is still considered in its natural state. Maine Rivers Act singled it out for special consideration due to its status as an international boundary. This grandeur has made the river attractive for canoeing and camping, for lake and river fishing and boating. This sense of pride of the St. Croix has place pressure for the government to participate in restoration.
Specific initiatives have been taken by the Canadian government in attempts to allow the recovery of the alewives on the St. Croix. The Canadian government argued against the 1995 bill proposed by American legislature, however they were powerless to stop it. The first attempt to revitalize alewife populations came in 2001 when Canadian department of fisheries and oceans began to truck alewives from the Milltown dam to the Woodland impoundment. This was in response to the dramatic declines in adult alewife returns. These actions caused the alewife populations to rebound from 900 returning adults in 2002 to about 12,000 in 2006. DFO Canada along with similar subsets of the government were also a large contributor to the Two Reports on Alewives in the St. Croix River (2006). This scientific report studied the interactions between alewives and small mouth bass on the St. Croix. The study concluded that the alewives had no adverse effect on the bass populations in the river, going against the fishing guides in the area. It was also sited on many accounts in the court cases of alewife passage on the river, eventually leading to the decision to allow alewives above Woodland Dam.
The Canadian government has also taken initiatives in the reintroduction of Atlantic salmon on the St. Croix. The Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) is a program designed to provide maps and data regarding suitable habitats off and on the Northeastern coast of the United States. This information has been used to find important rearing and spawning habitats for the Atlantic salmon. A key contributor to the project has been the Canada, specifically Environment Canada. The project hopes to reach sufficient conclusions on the state of Atlantic salmon habitats in order to effectively manage resources and practices to successfully aid salmon restoration.
Click here to view Canada's relationship with Maine in regrades to power generation and distribution
Click here to view the Two Reports on Alewives in the St. Croix River (Then select the historical report on the right side of the web page)