Cheri Patterson, Supervisor of Marine Programs, N.H. Fish and Game - (603) 868-1095
Kevin Lucey, Restoration Coordinator, N.H. Coastal Program - (603) 559-0026
September 23, 2009
Winnicut River Dam Removal Begins in Greenland, N.H.
State and Federal Environmental Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations Combine Resources and Stimulus Funds and Efforts to Remove the Winnicut River Dam
GREENLAND, NH - An innovative partnership of State and Federal agencies, donations from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and $500,000 in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, have the made the removal of the Winnicut River Dam and adjacent fish ladder possible. The dismantling of the dam and installation of a new innovative run-of-river "fish pass" under Rte. 33 is in the beginning stages and expected to be completed by the end of November. The public is invited to watch live images of the dam removal, by visiting www.earthcam.com/winnicut or www.nmfs.noaa.gov/habitat/restoration/projects_programs/crp/winnicutdamcam.html.
The head-of-tide dam is the last remaining obstruction on the mainstem of the Winnicut River and, once removed, will reconnect 39 miles of the natural riverine corridor. The owner of the dam, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, decided in 2007 to remove the dam after an extensive feasibility study. The study determined that dam removal would be the best option to restore fish passage for migratory fish, such as river herring and American eel, to important spawning and nursery grounds.
In June, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the agency received $167 million to restore coastal habitat from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Through a competitive selection process, NOAA chose 50 high-priority projects from the 814 proposals submitted, including the Winnicut Dam removal. The dam removal and fish pass construction project will support 21 jobs for ecologists, engineers, construction and demolition crews.
Funding and resources for the $1.2 million total project cost has come from many federal, state, and NGO sources, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, N.H. Department of Environmental Services - Coastal Program, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Coastal Conservation Association, N.H. Charitable Foundation, and the N.H. Moose Plate Grant Program.
For more information on the project, visit: des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/coastal/restoration/projects/winnicut.htm.