Patapsco Valley State Park, MD – American Rivers is proud to announce the removal of the Simkins dam on the Patapsco River. This removal is part of a watershed effort to remove at least three dams on the Patapsco. Removal of the Union Dam upstream was completed last month and studies are underway for the future removal of the Bloede Dam downstream. As a whole, tearing down these outdated dams is creating jobs, improving public safety, re-connecting the river for fish and wildlife, and improving recreation for residents and visitors.
American Rivers is proud to have played a lead role securing funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for this restoration effort, working in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Friends of the Patapsco Valley State Park.
American Rivers applauds our partners who have worked so hard to make this day a reality. Rivers are remarkably resilient, and we are all excited to see the renaissance on the Patapsco. Over the course of the next couple of years, we will be able to watch the Patapsco evolve and naturally reach equilibrium as new habitat is formed both upstream and down. Maryland can continue to stand tall as a national leader in innovative river restoration and protection.
“Today’s removal of Simkins Dam to restore the Patapsco River is a historic milestone for Maryland. A healthier river will enhance the economy, local community, and the Chesapeake Bay. American Rivers is proud to have partnered with private industry, government, and other non-profit organizations on this landmark restoration project. Rivers are remarkably resilient and we are all excited to see the Patapsco River come back to life,” said Rebecca Wodder, President of American Rivers.
“Breaching the Simkins Dam brings us closer to returning this portion of the Patapsco River to a thriving, free-flowing river,” said Eric Schwaab, NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “And it’s terrific that while we are restoring habitat, we are also working to restore our economy through the jobs created in this effort.”
"The removal of the Simkins dam highlights an on-going collaborative effort with state, federal and NGO partners including American Rivers and NOAA to restore fish passage in the state of Maryland,” said Department of Natural Resources Secretary John Griffin. “Many programs within DNR worked together to ensure the successful completion of this project and develop long-term monitoring programs to study the removal and learn how we can apply these techniques to future projects."
This ongoing effort on the Patapsco is funded through NOAA recovery act funds with help from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. It has employed people in a number of fields, including construction, engineering services, scientific consulting, archaeological, and academia.
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.