Good news for boaters! And everyone!
“Friday, September 9, the town of Exeter, New Hampshire celebrates the removal of the Great Dam and the restoration of the Exeter River. The town will hold a public ceremony in Founders Park at 10am.
There have been dams along the Exeter River since the 1640s or so. The Great Dam, named for the nearby Great Falls, was built around 1831 to provide power to Exeter’s mills. After coal and oil power came to Exeter, the Great Dam continued to provide power to Exeter businesses into the mid-20th century. When the dam’s owner sold the dam and factories in 1981, the Great Dam was donated to the Town of Exeter.
With the need for the dam gone, the Great Dam fell into disrepair. In 2000, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services advised the town that the dam had serious safety and flooding issues. The Town considered repairing, modifying, or removing the dam, and finally decided that removing the dam was the best solution.
Opening 21 Miles of River “
Another externality from Dam control and diversions. Inter basin water transfers and foreign biota and invasive species. Excerpt from ‘Dire’ USGS REPORT:
“If Asian carp spread into the Great Lakes, knowing where to expect them to spawn is a critical step in controlling these invasive species,” said USGS scientist Elizabeth Murphy. “Our study combines the biology of Asian carp early life stages with the physics of rivers to identify potential spawning tributaries, thus giving managers an opportunity to develop targeted control strategies.”
The researchers studied four tributaries for their report: the Milwaukee and St. Joesph Rivers leading to Lake Michigan, and the Maumee and Sandusky Rivers that connect Lake Erie. Scientists have long believed that although adult carp prefer calm waters, carp eggs must be carried along fast currents or else they sink and die. However, it is now found that the river does not necessarily have to be lengthy for the eggs to survive. Given the right temperatures and water-quality characteristics, even short rivers will do. All four tributaries in the study proved sufficient for carp to spawn. This discovery, according to the report, “would expand the number of possible tributaries suitable for Asian carp spawning.”
Scientists also found that dams can be instrumental in creating “settling zones” where the Asian carp eggs collect and sink. Unfortunately, the settling zones caused by dams or natural features in the studied tributaries were not enough to stop the development of Asian carp young, which only required a relatively short distance before they hatched.
The Council of Great Lakes Governors met again for the first time since 2005 earlier this month to discuss the future of invasive species in the region, foremost being the siege laid against the lakes by Asian carp. According to Fox News, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn supported a national project to separate the Great Lakes and Mississippi river systems.
“Ultimately, I think we have to separate the basins,” Quinn said at the meeting. “I really feel that is the ultimate solution.”
Excerpt on future release of extreme water levels for Great Lakes restoration:
Recent lake levels studies suggest that the best way to address the potential for extreme water levels and the uncertainties, including those associated with climate change, is through adaptive management. A draft Adaptive Management Plan for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River System will be released for public review next week. The plan aims to provide a more efficient and cost-effective way to monitor climate trends and support decision-making aimed at reducing the risk to communities, the economy and the environment from extreme water levels.
Your comments on this comprehensive and collaborative draft plan will be invited from March 15-April 15. The International Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Task Team will consider comments received before making final recommendations to the International Joint Commission in May 2013.
Federal funding remains a focus. While levels for 2013 and 2014 are still unknown, expectations are that President Obama and Congress will continue the precedent-setting $1 billion-plus investment in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative over the last three years – dollars slated to clean up past pollution, reduce nutrient loads from agriculture and cities, and prevent invasive species. Many thanks to White House Council of Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley for personally telling the Healing Our Waters coalition that Great Lakes restoration would continue.
For specifics on public comments go to website: