Another dam has gone from the Mill River in Taunton, leaving the Reed & Barton dam as the only impediment to fish passage on the river. A new fish ladder has been constructed at Lake Sabbatia which will allow fish access to over 30 miles of habitat in the upper watershed. This dam is special because it was the catalyst for much of the recent discussion of dam safety, dam removal and floodplain restoration in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Our efforts in Rhode Island to have better disclosure of dam safety and increased dam inspections have come from our experience in Taunton. You can see much more about the project on the Mill River Restoration blog.
This recent coverage of the project from ABC6 news also shows the history of this dam and the importance of the restoration. The dam came out relatively quickly this week, and the entire project should be completed by September. Next year's removal of the Reed & Barton dam will see the project come full circle and will allow fish full access to the entire river corridor.
Removal of the Hopewell Mill dam last August was very successful and the river is beginning to take shape.