We work to restore rivers: for people, for fish, and for everything else that depends on healthy rivers.
Healthy rivers define healthy communities, and rivers are healthiest when all their inhabitants can move upstream and downstream unencumbered. When that natural ebb and flow is lost, communities suffer. We focus our work on dam removal, fish passage construction and remediation at barriers. This helps reestablish natural cycles in rivers, allowing migratory fish, mussels, amphibians, turtles, and a host of aquatic invertebrates, access to critical habitat.
There are nine hydropower projects on the Connecticut and over 1,000 smaller dams on tributaries. Fish have been deeply impacted by centuries of dam building--particularly anadromous species like American shad, sea lamprey, blueback herring, alewives and Atlantic salmon, that return from the ocean to spawn in rivers. For migratory fish, meeting up with a dam is like heading home and finding there’s “NO EXIT” at your destination. It can stop spawning cold.
- Once-teeming migratory fish populations have flagged since initial regulatory successes in passage and population recovery from the 1970’s - 1990’s.
- We’re working to turn this around. Since 1997 we’ve partnered with dam owners and allies to restore over 44 miles of vital habitat in four states. That’s more than the distance from Hartford, CT to Old Saybrook; or Springfield, MA to our Greenfield headquarters; or the distance from Hanover, NH to Bellows Falls, VT.
- In July 2007 the Raymond Brook Dam in Hebron, CT was removed—restoring fish passage and habitat access on 16 miles of waterway.
- In August 2007 the final design plans were completed for removal of Homestead Dam in West Swanzey, NH which will ultimately open 27 miles of the Ashuelot River.
Photo credits (above): Jason R. Henske, CRWC Staff
Image Credits at Right - Illustrations: Bill Singleton; Photos: CRWC Staff.