Remove a Dam = More Fish?

Association Watershed Association Science Director Peggy Savage at the Weston Causeway Dam, one of two dams the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association is studying to see if their removal can help migratory fish like the American shad.
Association Watershed Association Science Director Peggy Savage at the Weston Causeway Dam, one of two dams the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association is studying to see if their removal can help migratory fish like the American shad.

Will removing two dams along the Millstone River help restore migratory fish to this important waterway? This is a big question for the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, central New Jersey’s first environmental group.

Thanks to a recent grant from the NOAA, the Watershed Association has launched a study to determine whether it’s feasible to remove two dams from the river, thereby opening up 14 river miles to migrating fish and recreational users between Lake Carnegie and Manville, near the confluence of the Millstone and Raritan Rivers.

The aim is to restore the ecological integrity of the Millstone River, re-establishing the equilibrium between river flow and sediment flow while allowing the river to meander and naturally create habitat for fish and other aquatic species.

The Watershed Association’s feasibility study will determine the safety of removing or breaching the dams by investigating the sediments upstream of the dams and looking for potential contamination that might need to be addressed. The Watershed Association will also be studying the likely effects of removing the dams on water levels in the river. Future storm water levels will be predicted to determine if flooding would be more or less likely after dam removal.

To learn more visit www.thewatershed.org

Melissa Lawrence, Social Marketing Administrator, VERTICES, LLC

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