Fort Halifax Dam Removal Begins this Week
“Patience and perserverence have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”
–John Quincy Adams
A decade-long fight ended this week as removal began on the Fort Halifax Dam on the Sebasticook River in Maine. As the years dragged on, this battle became about more than honoring an agreement signed in conjunction with the removal of the Edwards Dam. It was about the struggle to restore the native fisheries of the Kennebec and Sebasticook Rivers and a desire to inject new life into these riverfront communities. In the years following the removal of the Edwards Dam, adult American shad have been migrating past the former Edwards site and are now spawning below Fort Halifax.
The restoration effort is important not only for the ecological and environmental benefits of restored migratory fish populations, and for the recreational and commercial fisheries that target those fish, but also for the very real economic and social benefits that have begun to develop in the Waterville/Winslow area. People are using the river!
The removal of the Fort Halifax Dam is a win-win-win situation for migratory fish like the American shad, for the ecology of the river, and for the local communities they support. When the dust starts to settle, it is our hope that the river will heal any battle wounds and that soon our friends on the Sebasticook will speak of the flourishing environment much the way our friends on the Kennebec have.