Neuse River flows freely after Milburnie Dam removed

A deadly dam along the Neuse River in Raleigh, NC is being removed. Once Milburnie dam is removed, shad will be able to return to historic spawning grounds.

Milburnie Dam | Photo: Restoration Systems

Ushering in a new chapter for the Neuse River and City of Raleigh, removal of the unsafe and obsolete Milburnie Dam began on Wednesday, November 15.

Why dam removal?

This obsolete dam hadn’t produced power in years and much worse, it had caused the death of 15 people, who drowned in the hydraulic created at the abandoned powerhouse. Removing the dam eliminated this public safety hazard. It will also restore the health of the Neuse River.

What benefits will the dam removal bring?

Milburnie Dam was the last impediment to migratory fish on the Neuse River from the coast, particularly shad and striped bass. The six mile long impoundment will return to its free flowing state and fish will return to their historic spawning grounds. As a part of the project, 7 years of monitoring will be performed to see how the biological and physical characteristics of the river change after dam removal. The Neuse will not only benefit from the removal of the dam, but the site of this project will be protected in perpetuity under a conservation easement.

American Rivers has advocated for the removal of Milburnie Dam for over a decade. Restoration Systems is managing and funding the project with private dollars. Mitigations credits will be generated by this project into a mitigation bank. This dam removal is the continuation of a comprehensive river restoration effort, including four previous dam removals downstream and on Neuse River tributaries.

9 responses to “Neuse River flows freely after Milburnie Dam removed

  1. Yes! Another deadbeat dam torn down, restoring the natural ecosystem. Looking forward to seeing how the river recovers over the next few years.

  2. There are many dams in the country that are now obsolete and should be removed. Years ago they were needed to product water power and electric power to run various industries. today they are no longer needed an may pose a danger if they were to be breached. so it is time to remove them letting shad and salmon upstream to their traditional breeding grounds. We should all be following these removal projects and maybe discovering some dams that now should be removed.

  3. How gratifying that this is being restored to its original configuration, and that our native ecosystem gets another boost!

  4. The removal of this dam will help reconnect marine and terrestrial ecosystems by providing access for anadromous fishes to upriver areas and facilitating the deposition of marine derived nutrients. This is an excellent move for the the Neuse River ecosystem and surrounding region. GREAT NEWS!!

  5. The wetlands created by the dam will drain and thousands-of-acres of wetlands will be lost. The pond like area will become a shallow stream with very little navigable water. No more canoeing. check it out next week…

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