The 10th Anniversary of the Edwards Dam Removal on Maine’s Kennebec River

June 22nd, 2009

Caitlin Jennings, American Rivers, 202-347-7550 ext. 3100
Jeff Reardon, Trout Unlimited 207 615-9200
Judy Berk, Natural Resources Council of Maine, 207-430-0103Andrew Goode, Atlantic Salmon Federation, 207-725-2833

American Rivers * Natural Resources Council of Maine * Trout Unlimited* Atlantic Salmon Federation

Augusta, ME – State, Federal, and local officials, along with conservation leaders, will gather on the bank of the Kennebec River in Augusta, Maine on June 30 for a press conference to celebrate the tenth anniversary of one of our nation’s most significant and successful river restoration projects – the removal of Edwards Dam and the return of 11 species of sea-run fish to more than 17 miles of the Kennebec River.

What: Press conference to celebrate ten years of successful river restoration since the removal of Edwards Dam on Maine’s Kennebec River.

Who: Speakers will include riverfront landowner George Viles; Steve Brooke, former director of the Kennebec Coalition; Rebecca Wodder of American Rivers; and a representative from the Maine Department of Marine Resources.  The former Maine governor Angus King and NOAA Administrator, Jane Lubchenco, have also been invited to speak.

When: June 30, 2009 at 10:30 am

Where: Edwards Mill Park in Augusta, Maine (Directions are at the end of this advisory.)


Background: 
Since the removal of the Edwards Dam, the Kennebec River has seen the resurgence of healthy sea-run fish populations.  The removal of the Edwards Dam and subsequent changes on the river are a national model for ecosystem restoration, and offer lessons for other rivers and other communities.

The dam removal opened up 17 river miles, making the Kennebec a free-flowing river from the city of Waterville to the sea for the first time in more than 160 years. Within the first year of the removal at least eight of the native sea-run fish species had been documented using the newly restored habitat, and water quality in the river had improved from Class C to Class B. Ten years later, the Kennebec supports thriving recreational fisheries for striped bass and American shad, a restored commercial fishery for alewife and other river herring, and growing river-based recreation opportunities. 

Communities along the Kennebec are investing in public access to the Kennebec, and enjoying the benefits of the river’s recovery. The quality of life for people who reside along the Kennebec has also improved, as restoration of the river created an increasingly attractive place to work, fish, paddle, camp, hike, and live while enjoying the scenic river.

The removal of Edwards Dam marked a turning point for river restoration in our nation.  It was the first time the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered a dam removed for ecological reasons.  Since 1999, many other communities around the country have considered dam removal.


Directions to Edwards Mill Park
North Water St & Northern Ave. on the Kennebec River

From North or South:

  • Take I-95 to exit 109 (109A from North) and follow Western Ave. (ME-100/ME11/ME-17/US-202) east toward the State House for about 1.5 miles
  • At the Memorial Circle rotary, take the 3rd exit onto Grove St/ME-104/ME-11/ME-27/ME-8
  • Continue to follow ME-104 through downtown Augusta
  • Continue to follow ME-104 approximately .08 miles
  • Edwards Mill Park will be on the right.
  • Park in the large gravel parking lot near the entrance.

 


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About American Rivers

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Find your connections at AmericanRivers.org, Facebook.com/AmericanRivers, and Twitter.com/AmericanRivers.