Dam Removal and Justifying Passive Sediment Management

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Paul M. Woodworth

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Given the vulnerability of freshwater ecosystems, and the ubiquity of aging and obsolete dams, these dams need to be removed faster and cheaper. The management of impounded sediments often drives up costs. Recent research reinforces the notion that the volume of impounded sediments behind small dams, which are very common in the northeastern US, is minor relative to watershed sediment yields. This presentation will discuss published sediment guidelines in the US, compare sediment management approaches in several recent dam removal projects in the northeastern US, and describe methods to assess the volume of impounded sediment in the watershed context that help to justify “when to let it go.”

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program