by Mike DeSumma
WCSH-6 TV news story
EDDINGTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Members of environmental groups savored the moment Monday morning as work began to tear down the Veazie Dam on the Penobscot River.
The dam removal is just the most recent phase of a $62 million project of the Penobscot River Restoration Trust. The group purchased numerous dams on the Penobscot River from Black Bear Hydro with the intent to remove them. They started by removing the Great Works Dam in Old Town last year.
Organizers say that sea-run fish like Atlantic salmon, American shad and river herring have declined in the Penobscot River in part because dams block marine life from reaching their spawning, rearing, and nursery habitats. The project is expected to bring back recreation and tourism opportunities like fishing, fly rod-making, bird-watching and paddling to the Bangor area.
It is expected to take a few months to remove all parts of the Veazie dam. Next year the trust will be tackling its third and final project on the Penobscot River. It will be decommissioning the Howland Dam and building a fishway around it.
Even though the dams are being breached, Black Bear Hydro is upgrading its other dams on the Penobsoct River so offcials say there will be no loss of power generation.