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400K for Penobscot Habitat Restoration

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ The federal government is dedicating $400,000 toward habitat conservation around the Penobscot River.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration selected the Penobscot River and its tributaries as a "habitat focus area'' worthy of conservation efforts in May. The river is the largest Atlantic salmon run in the United States and NOAA says it wants to increase spawning habitat for the fish. Shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon and river herring are other species in the river that NOAA wants to protect.

    NOAA says the river's ecosystems are compromised by pollution and overfishing. The agency says the focus area will try to improve passage areas for fish and conditions for commercially important species and recreational activities.