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Dam removal project in Henniker, NH receives conservation grant
Release Date: 11/24/2003
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, 617-918-1008
BOSTON – A water restoration project in Henniker, NH was among six in New England and 56 nationwide to receive water conservation grants funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The grant is among $600,000 of conservation projects funded nationally by EPA and awarded jointly by the National Association of Counties, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Wildlife Habitat Council through their Five Star Restoration Grant Program.
The Contoocook River Restoration project in Henniker, NH, received $15,000 to remove the 18-foot-high, 137-foot-long West Henniker Dam on the Contoocook River. The project, funded through the NH Department of Environmental Services Water Division, is being done in partnership with DES, the Town of Henniker, the Henniker Conservation Commission and New England College, as well as other organizations.
"This dam removal project in Henniker is a win-win because it will eliminate a public safety hazard and restore many miles of important aquatic habitat on the Contoocook River," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office.
The dam removal project is a priority for the New Hampshire River Restoration Task Force, made up of local, state and federal entities. The dam's removal will restore 15 miles of the Contoocook River to free-flowing conditions and high quality habitat for trout, Atlantic salmon and American eel. In addition, the project will eliminate a public safety hazard, increase recreational opportunities and educate the public about rivers and river restoration.
Five Star Restoration projects involve cooperation with local government agencies, elected officials, community groups, businesses, schools, and environmental organizations working together to improve local water quality and restore important fish and wildlife habitats. The winning projects were selected from nearly 200 applications.
Criteria for selection included the program's educational and training opportunities for students and at-risk youth, ecological benefits and other cultural and economic benefits to the community.
"NOAA Fisheries is proud to be a Five Star partner through our Community-based Restoration Program," said Bill Hogarth, assistant administrator at the National Marine Fisheries Service. "NOAA is committed to helping communities in the restoration of their aquatic habitats. Locally conceived projects like this one Henniker produce on-the-ground results and help foster a better appreciation for the environment."
This is the fifth year that grants have been awarded under this innovative program. A list of the other projects receiving grants can be viewed at http://www.nfwf.org and https://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/restore/5star/03grants.html.