For Immediate Release
November 24, 1999

Contact: Tom MacKenzie 404/679-7291

*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***

U.S. Marines To Help Babbitt Blow Up Dams

C-4 plastic explosives, in simultaneous detonation, will reduce concrete to rubble, and unlock 49 miles of spawning river habitat for six species of anadromous fish

 

Wednesday morning, December 1, just outside of Goldsboro, North Carolina, on the Little River (a tributary to Neuse River that flows into Pimlico Sound), Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt will light a fuse then count down the final seconds before the Rains Dam is reduced to rubble by explosives carefully set by munitions experts of the U.S. Marine Corps

The dam removal project, a federal/state/private partnership, will open 49 miles of suitable spawning and rearing habitat for anadromous (spawned in rivers, live in the ocean) alewife, American shad, hickory shad, Atlantic sturgeon, shortnose sturgeon, and striped bass.

“Through the violence of destruction, we undertake the healing act of creation,” said Babbitt. “What we create here, for the first time in 78 years, is a healthy, free-flowing stream that opens aquatic habitat to oxygen, colder water, fish migration and access to spawning beds. Today the Marines are saving a few good species, from eight tiny freshwater mussels to the rare, ancient shortnose sturgeon. Dam owners, fishermen and public officials are working together to permanently restore what was once thought lost forever. And we have only begun.”

Who: Bruce Babbitt (Secretary of the Interior), Bill Holman (Secretary of Natural Resource, State of North Carolina), U.S. Marine Corps and landowners
What: Blowing up Rains Dam
When: 9:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Wednesday, December 1, 1999
Where: Quarry Parking lot, Highway 1002 in Johnson County on the Little River

Directions: Take Beltline to I-40 East; US 70 East; left at Hardees-Rains Mill Road and travel one mile to the event.

Video footage, with sound, will be made available on www.doi.gov web site after the event.

Before shot
Before shot
First blast
First blast
Another blast
Another blast
Free flowing water
Free flowing water

 

Release #: R99-096

 


1999 News Releases
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