Penobscot River, ME

The Penobscot River Restoration Trust, of which American Rivers is a founding member, has been working toward removing Penobscot’s outdated dams for many years. Removing the river’s two lowermost dams (Veazie Dam and Great Works Dam) and installing fish passage on two other dams will restore access to roughly 1,000 miles of habitat for the river’s fish, making this project one of the most significant dam removal efforts ever.

Equally significant are the considerable investments in local hydropower generation that will at least maintain and possibly increase the amount of energy that was generated when the project began – further proof that balance can be found between energy production and healthy rivers. The project will create or maintain more than 180 jobs. Opportunities for in-river commercial fishing are also expected to increase.

Removal of Great Works Dam began in June 2012, and the river will soon be a model for what we hope to achieve on other major rivers across the country: improved health, restored fish and wildlife, balanced energy production, and communities revitalized by new recreation and economic opportunities.

The Penobscot River restoration is truly a collaborative effort. We would not be where we are today without the strong and diverse partnership involving the Penobscot Indian Nation, federal, state and local levels of government, corporations, conservation organizations, private foundations and individual donors.

American Rivers named the Penobscot, New England’s second largest river, as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers® every year from 1989 to 1996 because of existing or proposed dams. We look forward to the day when we can declare the Penobscot “Most Improved.”

  • Photos from the event
  • You can watch a recording of the live stream of the June 11 event (view in Internet Explorer):

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