Building a Stronger Coast
Recovery, restoration & building coastal resilience
Pond Lily Dam - USFWS.
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Pond Lily Dam Removal

Location: Connecticut

Project type: Resilience

Project status: Complete

Funding awarded: $661,500


Pond Lily Dam removal completed February 2016.

In April 2016, volunteers planted native vegetation at the dam site to help stabilize the riverbanks and create an urban nature park for the community.

Project Summary

The Pond Lily Dam Removal project increases capacity of the local coastal riverine habitat to withstand storms by eliminating the hazard of Pond Lily Dam's likely failure and restores a federal public asset by promoting migratory fish passage of federally protected species. The project eliminates threat of a catastrophic dam breach during future flooding. In total, approximately 2.6 miles of the West River and 76 acres of Konold's Pond habitat are being re-opened to migratory fish, including herring, eel and shad.

Conservation Goals

  • Increase capacity for resilience and eliminate liability
  • Facilitate migratory fish passage and habitat

Project Benefits

  • Improves coastal resilience through restored sediment transport after the permanent removal of Pond Lily Dam while also eliminating the hazard of dam failure in the event of a storm
  • Reconnects the West River with its flood plain so the river can rise and fall normally without serious consequence
  • Restores about 2.6 miles of stream access benefiting migratory fish including herring, eel and shad, offering significant gains in spawning habitat

Project Partners

  • Connecticut Fund for the Environment / Save the Sound
  • Restore America's Estuaries (RAE)
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • City of New Haven
  • Town of Woodbridge
  • New Haven Land Trust (NHLT)
  • Solar Youth
  • Common Ground High School
  • Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP)
  • Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership – Project endorser

Additional Details

The project will contribute to balancing the needs of human and natural systems by providing a permanent improvement that restores the river to a more natural condition by increasing stream flow and decreasing water temperature. This will increase oxygen levels while allowing passage of migratory fish species, which constitute a significant food source for larger species consumed by humans. The project redefines best practices by applying the innovative solution of dam removal to improve coastal defenses.

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Dam Removal Project Map

Pond Lily Dam Removal Photos

Last updated: April 11, 2018