Sunset over the lake

Wat-er You Looking At

In our most recent issue of Sebago in Depth we asked readers to guess what this was:


When you get a more zoomed out perspective, you can see that it’s a box culvert!


Maine’s thousands of miles of streams are habitat for fish and other wildlife, provide recreation opportunities, and contribute to our local economy. Many of these streams pass under roads, barely visible to our eyes thanks to culverts.

The proper installation of these culverts impacts the fish and wildlife that depend on the connectivity of streams and people who rely on clean water and safe roads. The goal is to make the crossing invisible to the stream so that the stream can do what it should do: regulate the flow of water, move organisms and material, and provide habitat connectivity. Box culverts like this one meet the rules of thumb for appropriate installation by:

1) spanning the entire width of the stream,

2) matching the natural stream elevation,

3) matching the slope of the natural stream, and

4) including natural materials in the bed of the stream   

To learn more about the best culvert and bridge designs and efforts to improve stream crossings in Maine, visit