Dam Removal Reconnects Bay Fish With Streams, Ponds

The Hopewell Mills Dam Removal Project has begun in Taunton, Massachusetts, kicking off the restoration of the Mill River, an ecologically significant tributary to the Taunton River. The goal of the Mill River Restoration Project is to re-connect thirty miles of upstream tributaries, lakes and natural ponds with the Mill River, the dam-free Taunton River, and Narragansett Bay. The project will also improve habitat for American eel, resident fish, and wildlife such as the cedar waxwing and painted turtle.

Workers have lowered water levels in the impoundment, and an excavator has begun removing layers of concrete from the dam’s spillway, dramatically lowering water levels in the impoundment. The full dam removal project will be completed by October 2012. When the project is complete, river herring will return to the Canoe River, Snake River and upstream ponds for the first time in 200 years.