Bloede Dam Removal Complete!

Following years of hard work and dedication of American Rivers staff and partners, the Bloede Dam Removal Project is completed!

Patapsco River | Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate

Bloede Dam was on the Patapsco River in Patapsco Valley State Park in Maryland. The dam was the most downstream structure, and therefore, the lynchpin to reconnecting upstream habitat. American Rivers removed two dams upstream in 2010—Simkins Dam and Union Dam. Finally, more than 65 miles of spawning habitat for blueback herring, alewife, American shad, hickory shad and more than 183 miles for American eel have been reconnected in the Patapsco.

Bloede Dam had served no functional purpose for decades and posed a serious public safety hazard in Patapsco Valley State Park. There were a number of injuries and deaths, with at least nine dam-related deaths since the 1980s, the most recent of which occurred in June 2015.

Patapsco River | Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate
Patapsco River | Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate

Today, the construction site is all put back together. The Grist Mill Trail running through the project site has been repaved and is ready for action!

Patapsco River | Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate
Patapsco River | Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate

Parts of the slopes are growing new trees and other vegetation, so we ask that people stay on the trails while the site works to restore itself.

Patapsco River | Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate
Patapsco River | Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate

We’ve planted thousands of trees on the site to help stabilize slopes and eventually provide shade to the trail. In a few years, this place will not be recognizable.

Patapsco River | Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate
Patapsco River | Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate

This is the project manager, Serena McClain. This project could not have happened without her. We are very proud of the work that she has accomplished on the Patapsco River.

Patapsco River | Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate
Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate

Of course, here at American Rivers, no person is an island. We work as a team. Here is part of the American Rivers Bloede project team with a tree that we planted in the park in Serena’s honor.

Patapsco River | Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate
Patapsco River | Photo by Jessie Thomas-Blate

The river’s ready for you to come visit! Have a seat on a bench in an overlook, bring a fishing rod and toss in a line, float around in a tube, have a picnic on a gorgeous exposed rock, or take a hike or bike down the new trail. The Patapsco is a beautiful place to visit (and now safer too!). You can watch a river do its own work to restore itself over the coming years as we will be doing. Nature can do amazing things.

One response to “Bloede Dam Removal Complete!

  1. This such wonderful news for our ecosystem and our community’s enjoyment of a beautiful and restorative place!

    Thank you so much for your hard work and advocacy!

    -Biologist, Elkridge resident

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