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Pawtuxet Falls Restoration: Lessons from Narragansett Bay's Largest Dam Removal

Abstract
In August, 2011, the Pawtuxet River flowed freely into Narragansett Bay, R.I., for the first time in more than 200 years. The removal of Pawtuxet Falls Dam was the culmination of years of planning and permitting by the Pawtuxet River Authority, Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, and a partnership of more than a dozen state, federal and non-profit organizations, with technical support provided by EA Engineering, Science and Technology. The project restored seven miles of spawning habitat for American shad and river herring to Narragansett Bay's third-largest tributary. The project team overcame a number of significant design challenges, including public concerns regarding aesthetics and historic preservation; contaminated sediments; poor construction access; concerns about flood vulnerability; and an unprecedented regulatory scale. We'll share innovative solutions and adaptive management approaches that resulted in successful outcomes, and can be applied to similar projects throughout the country.
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2012-06-06
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