RRA Member Spotlight

Ryan Heuss

Outdoor enthusiast, budding scientist, and conservationist.

My name is Ryan Heuss and I am a Yarmouth resident. Exploring and recreating outdoors is an extremely important part of my life. Access to Maine parks and preserves has played a key role in my development as an outdoor enthusiast. I am an avid mountain biker, backpacker, fly fisherman, and rock climbing guide.

I am also a developing scientist, fascinated by the intricate ways in which humans and nature interact with one another. I am currently a senior at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York—soon to graduate with a degree in conservation biology. My concentration has been on aquatic ecosystems with research projects in Adirondack lakes and rivers. The Royal River restoration project in my hometown has been of great interest to me.

Searun Trout

Dams block sea-run trout as they return to freshwater in the fall.

I want to voice my support for the removal of the Bridge and East Elm Street dams. The removal of these inactive dams has the potential to restore an impassable river to numerous fish species, Atlantic Salmon and Atlantic Sturgeon among them. Yarmouth residents have the unique opportunity to serve as leaders at a time when it is of the utmost importance. Many rivers in the northeast are fragmented by active hydroelectric dams, making river restoration efforts expensive or unfeasible. These dams restrict key fish species habitats and limit the size and resilience of fish populations.

We are faced with the opportunity to stand out as environmental leaders at the benefit of our local environment. The success of this project may even inspire other communities to follow suit, restoring more rivers to their wild state. We are privileged to live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world and projects like this will play a critical role in the preservation of Maine’s environmental resources. I urge all residents of Yarmouth to support this project and return the Royal River to its wild state.

Ryan Heuss, January 7, 2021