Current Habitat Restoration Projects
Our restoration efforts focus on dam removal, fish passage construction and remediation at barriers to reestablish natural cycles in rivers. The goal is to allow migratory fish, mussels, amphibians, turtles, and a host of aquatic invertebrates to access critical habitat. Current projects include:
Update:The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services began work on the removal of the Homestead Woolen Mill Dam August 23, 2010. The dam is located in the Ashuelot River in Swanzey, New Hampshire. It is immediately downstream from the historic Thompson Covered Bridge. Stabilization of the bridge to protect its center pier from washing out has been a major complication but it will be stabilized as part of the dam removal project.
CRWC has been part of the development and planning of the removal since the idea was put on the table. CRWC through our NOAA River Restoration program provided cash and encouragement to complete the project. Other partners with NH DES have been the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NH Fish & Game, Fish America Foundation, NH Corporate Wetland Restoration Partnership, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the New Hampshire Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.
The removal will reconnect over 27 miles of riverine habitat that will not only restore fish passage but improves aquatic habitat for a host of other aquatic species including macroinvertebrates and fresh water mussels.
Miles to be restored: 27
Partners: NH DES River Restoration Task Force, CRWC, HWM, Inc, American Rivers, NOAA, EPA 319, NH F&G, NH CWRP, USFWS, Town of Swanzey, NH DOT, FAF, TNC, NRCS.
Species to benefit: American shad, blueback herring, Atlantic salmon, American eel and sea lamprey.
Information Meeting: Green River Restoration Project Section 106 Historic Review
April 6, 2011 at 7:00-9:00 PM
Veterans/Planning Office, 114 Main Street, Greenfield, MA
We invite you to attend the Green River Restoration Project Section 106 Historic Review information meeting. This meeting will present the findings of an historical and archaeological survey (PDF 1.4MB) and associated appendix (PDF 7MB) completed by Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. (PAL), dated February 2011, as part of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Dam removal will have an effect on historic and archaeological resources in the area, and we want to give the public an opportunity to learn more about and provide input on the project and potential impacts. PAL staff will present information on the report, and the project partners will provide information on the historic process and a timeline for the project.
A summary of the survey is available by clicking here (PDF 1.4MB) and at the Greenfield Public Library. An appendix is available here (PDF 7MB). We hope to put as much of the full report in the library as soon as possible, pending review and approval of the Massachusetts Historical Commission. These types of reports can contain sensitive information on local archaeology, and we want to make sure we are releasing appropriate information to the public.
Update: The removal of two dams forming the first barriers on the Green River, as well as fishway construction on two upper dams, will ultimately restore 94 miles of habitat in Massachusetts and Vermont. Removal of the two barriers in Greenfield, MA could come as early as 2012. Sea lamprey, American eel, American shad, blueback herring, and Atlantic salmon will be the chief beneficiaries, but amphibians, turtles, and invertebrates will also take advantage of restoration work on the Green River.
At the January 2010 public meeting to review preliminary designs for dam removal, some 75 people had the opportunity to comment and ask questions about sediment quality, fish passage, historical interests, wetlands, recreational opportunities, erosion, and sediment movement resulting from dam removal. The preliminary design report and plans are available at the Greenfield Public Library, Greenfield Town Hall and at www.ctriver.org. Project partners are continuing to work to complete additional analyses as part of the final design.
At this time we are expecting to have final design and permitting in place by the end of 2011. Construction and dam removal are expected to take place in 2012, depending on when funding is received. Once construction is complete, monitoring for water quality and aquatic species will follow for 3–5 years.
Miles to be restored: 94
Species to benefit: American shad, blueback herring, Atlantic salmon, sea lamprey and American eel.
Goal of this project: To remove the lower two dams (Wiley & Russell and Mill Street dams) and install fishways on the upper two dams (Swimming Pool dam and Water Supply dam).
Partners: The Town of Greenfield, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin. (NOAA) Open Rivers Initiative, FishAmerica Foundation, American Sportfishing Assoc., US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and Coastal Program, the Franklin Fund of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, Massachusetts Environmental Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and American Rivers–NOAA Community-based Restoration Program, and the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration.
Green River Restoration Preliminary Design
The preliminary design report and plans are available at the Greenfield Public Library, Greenfield Town Hall and for download at the link above. The report is approximately 50 pages and includes information on analysis completed to date for the removal of the Wiley & Russell and Mill Street Dams. The report appendices are approximately 400 pages and include detailed results from sediment sampling and hydraulic analysis. The preliminary design reflects work to date on the project, but project partners are continuing to work to complete additional analyses as part of the final design.
Update: After many years of meetings and fundraising, thanks to federal stimulus funding, construction of the Manhan River fish ladder in Easthampton, MA started in 2010! The project was not completed in 2010 because of technical complexities. Project partners are putting together plans for raising extra funds to get the project completed in 2011.
This project will provide anadromous fish access to roughly 11 miles on both branches of the Manhan River, as well as spawning areas available in the many tributaries that join the river within that corridor. The Manhan River is a tributary to the Connecticut River and runs from the Oxbow in Easthampton to Westhampton.
CRWC has been involved in this project for many years. We are contributing $9,200 in grant funding from NiSource to the City of Easthampton for construction of the fish ladder. The City of Easthampton, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will construct a Denil fish ladder on the right abutment of the Manhan River Dam in order to allow fish passage to spawning areas upstream in the Manhan River. The project will benefit America shad, blueback herring, sea lamprey, Atlantic salmon, and other aquatic species. An additional structure constructed adjacent to the fishway will be operational during times of downstream migration. Both structures will have mechanisms through which adequate flows can be maintained and controlled.
See a video about the Manhan River fish ladder project online at http://recovery.doi.gov/press/bureaus/us-fish-and-wildlife-service/new-england-ecological-services-field-office/
Miles to be restored: 11 miles on two branches of the Manhan, plus spawning areas on the tributaries
Partners: City of Easthampton, NiSource, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and others
Species to benefit: American shad, blueback herring, sea lamprey, Atlantic salmon, others
Update: This is a great project for American shad, as it will restore their whole historic habitat range in the Mattabesset. Final design plans for a fishway at the StanChem Dam on the Mattabesset River in Berlin, CT have been completed and a portion of the money required for construction has been procured. New grant requests will go out in 2010 to help bring this project to fruition. This will reopen the entire historic habitat range for American shad on the Mattabesset. It should also be a boost to migrating alewife, blueback herring, and sea lamprey, plus a host of other aquatic species. Once the fishway is built, 16.5 miles of habitat on the Mattabesset will be restored.
Miles to be restored: 16.5
Partners: CRWC, CT DEP, StanChem Inc.
Species to benefit: American shad, alewife, blueback herring, sea lamprey.
Update: The Watershed Council received a $25,000 grant from American Rivers-NOAA to help explore the option of removing the Springborn Dam on the Scantic River in Enfield. Upon investigation, the Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) waswilling to consider removal of the Springborn Dam to help restore healthy anadromous fish runs to the Scantic. CRWC provided engineering expertise and support that enabled DEP to consider this course of action. But soil contamination was discovered at the site, which would require expensive remediation prior to the dam’s removal. Project partners applied for soil remediation grants but did not secure the necessary funding, making dam removal cost-prohibitive at this time.
CRWC will remain an active partner to ensure the best possible outcome for the fish and aquatic species impacted by this dam.
Miles to be restored: 2
Partners: CRWC, American Rivers, CT DEP, Scantic River Watershed Assoc.
Species to benefit: American shad, alewife, Atlantic salmon, American eel, sea lamprey, brook trout, brown trout, and others
Photo credits (above): CRWC Staff
Image Credits at Right - Illustrations: Bill Singleton; Photos: CRWC Staff.