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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Dam Down

the Veazie Dam on the Penobscot River has been breached

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, July 26, 2013/Categories: wildlife conservation, sustainability, environment

Using cranes, backhoes, and other engineering gear, the breaching of the Veazie Dam on the Penobscot River in Maine has begun. Riled Up commented recently on this river restoration project to revive a free-flowing river, dammed since the 19th Century.

Leading the restoration efforts were public environmental groups including the Penobscot River Restoration Trust and 1% for the Planet, an organization that inspires companies to donate one-percent of their profits to conservation projects.

Veazia Dam Breaching, Maine (credit: Penobscot River Restoration Trust)

The $60million river restoration and fisheries recovery project will require the better part of a decade. The Trust estimated that one species, the river herring, once numbered nearly 20 million fish but only 54 fish were counted in 2012. The Atlantic salmon, harvested in the hundred thousands at the end of the 19th Century, were down to a couple of hundred of the ocean-going salmon this year. All fish populations are expected to make a strong come-back from pre-dam status now that the river is being returned to free-flowing status.

Across the country, hundreds of old dams block free-flowing rivers and the ecological health of lakes and rivers. Let "dam down" become a national removal campaign chant.


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