Sappi Fine Paper North America Celebrates Opening of Cumberland Mills Fishway

BOSTON – Sappi Fine Paper North America announced today the successful completion of its fishway project installed in Westbrook, ME, enabling natural fish passage through a portion of the Presumpscot River for the first time in more than 150 years. As a result of significant collaborative efforts and teamwork, Sappi was able to complete the fishway on time, within budget, and most importantly, safely.

"Sappi's history is rooted in the Westbrook community, and we are honored to have successfully completed this major achievement toward restoring fish to the waterway," said Donna Cassese, managing director, Westbrook Mill, Sappi Fine Paper North America. "We are dedicated to ensuring the long-term revitalization of the river's use. As a major employer in the Westbrook community, we look forward to embarking on future opportunities with the City in line with this commitment."

Since embarking on the Cumberland Mills fishway project in 2011, Sappi and local partners, including Reed&Reed and Bancroft Contracting Corporation, have worked to safely construct fish passage that would meet the standards set by the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Designed to establish timely and effective fish passage specifically for fish species such as blue-black herring, alewives, shad and other native species; the capacity of the new fishway is anticipated to enable up to 200,000 river herring and 20,000 shad to pass up the river annually.

Major items associated with the Fishway Project includes the:

  • Construction of a denil fishway
  • Installation of new automated flashboards to allow pond level control
  • Building of a barrier dam
  • Construction of a pedestrian bridge to facilitate effectiveness monitoring and allow for maintenance access

Over the course of the project, Sappi and its team also reconstructed the 150-year-old deep river gate structure in the east channel, which will eliminate excess water flow, thereby helping direct fish into the west channel where the fishway is located.

To celebrate the fishway completion, Sappi will host an opening ceremony on May 1, 2013 at its Westbrook mill, followed by a tour of the newly constructed fish passage facilities. For more information on the event or for media to RSVP to attend, please refer to contacts listed below.

"On behalf of the City of Westbrook, I wish to congratulate Sappi Fine Paper North America on the successful effort to create fish passage at Cumberland Mills," says Mayor Colleen Hilton. "We look forward to working closely with Sappi and other stakeholders to continue such success stories in the Westbrook community in the years ahead."

This announcement is a continuation of the work Sappi is conducting throughout the Westbrook community to ensure effective and safe fish passage, as well as contribute to the overall vitality of the region.

About Sappi Fine Paper North America

Sappi Fine Paper North America, known for innovation and quality, is a preeminent North American producer of coated fine and release papers and market pulp headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Its coated fine papers, with highly recognized brand names such as McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are used in premium magazines, catalogs, books and high-end print advertising. The company is also the world's leading supplier of release papers for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries, including the globally recognized Ultracast brand. Sappi's release papers provide the surface aesthetics for synthetic fabrics used in footwear, clothing, upholstery and accessories, as well as the textures for decorative laminates found in kitchens, baths, flooring and other decorative surfaces. An integrated pulp and paper producer, with state-of-the-art pulp mills, Sappi is the third largest seller of hardwood pulp in North America.

Sappi Fine Paper North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited (NYSE, JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with over 14,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at:


Contact a Sappi Representative

Olga Karagiannis

+1 617 423 5049