Two Dams Removed on Cedar Run
A River Runs FreeOctober 10th, 2007
Sara Deuling, American Rivers, (717) 763-0741
Garrett Russo; American Rivers; (202) 347-7550
Donna Morelli, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, (717) 737-8622 x 12
Lower Allen Township, PA— Better days are ahead for Cedar Run. This week two dilapidated small dams were removed on the tributary to the Yellow Breeches. Their removal will transform the area into a vibrant fishery, and water quality will soon improve.
“People all across America should look to what’s happening today on Cedar Run as a shining example of what to do with a useless dam,” said Rebecca Wodder, President of American Rivers™. “This little creek will soon be able to do fantastic things for the people in Lower Allen Township.”
The dams, which were identified in the 2005 “Cedar Run Watershed Coldwater Conservation Plan”, undertaken by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council to improve water quality and the coldwater fishery of Cedar Run.
Both are located near Camp Hill in the greater Harrisburg area. They were originally built in the early 1900s to create small duck ponds. The ducks are long gone, but the destruction to the natural coldwater ecosystem of Cedar Run by the dams remains. To improve water quality and reconnect fragmented aquatic habitats, the dams have been removed. The dam removals are funded in part by a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection grant awarded to American Rivers and by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
“Sometimes saying goodbye is hard, but this isn’t one of those times,” adds Wodder. “These dams belong in the history books, and future generations deserve the chance to write a new history for Cedar Run. Thankfully they’re about to get it.”
The dam removals are only the first part of a larger effort to improve Cedar Run, which was once a top brown trout fishery in Pennsylvania. Eighty-five percent of the Cedar Run watershed is underlain with limestone and its spring-fed waters create a unique habitat for coldwater species. The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Center for Watershed Protection will be conducting a watershed assessment that will identify opportunities for stream corridor restoration and stormwater management that will improve water quality through reducing the volume of runoff entering Cedar Run and restoring riparian ecosystems that provide habitat and food to fish and wildlife.