Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Connecticut dam removal to improve public safety and natural habitats along the Norwalk River

August 6, 2018

Contact(s):

Norwalk Contact Josh Morgan

jmorgan@norwalkct.org 203-854-7894

DEEP Contact Chris Collibee

Chris.Collibee@ct.gov 860-424-3110

USFWS Contact Lauri Munroe-Hultman

Lauri_munroe-hultman@fws.gov 413-588-1005


Flock Process Dam, Norwalk, Conn. Credit: USFWS

The Flock Process Dam in Norwalk, Conn. is being removed starting this week to improve public safety and natural habitats along the Norwalk River.

The project is a partnership between the City of Norwalk, the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service).

“The Flock Process Dam once served a major role in Norwalk, but now is in disrepair. By removing the dam, we are improving public safety and increasing the natural habitats in the river,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. “This project only became a reality due to collaboration and partnership between Norwalk staff, the DEEP and the Service. Thank you all for making this happen.”

The dam, the first and largest on the Norwalk River, has been obsolete for years. Removal of the dam eliminates the risk of failure and catastrophic flooding that threatens roads and buildings downstream and reduces the danger of upstream flooding and damage to buildings and roads.

This project also promotes ecosystem health including natural sediment transport which supports coastal wetland and beach development. Furthermore, removal of the dam will provide an estimated $1.75 million in socioeconomic benefit by restoring 3.5 miles of stream and river, which will increase the available spawning and nursery habitat for migratory fish such as alewife and blueback herring and increase the abundance of these species in Long Island Sound.

The DEEP contributed $915,000 to the project through its EPA Clean Water Act Section 319 funding and State of Connecticut Supplemental Environmental Projects funds.

“The DEEP is pleased to be partnering with the City of Norwalk on the long-anticipated removal of the Flock Process Dam. The Department has had a long-standing interest in the recovery of the Norwalk River, both in terms of promoting runs of migratory fish and improving the quality of the water and habitat. This project will achieve both and set the stage for similar work upstream,” said Stephen Gephard, Supervising Fisheries Biologist with the DEEP. “We are appreciative of the leadership that the city has provided and glad that the DEEP was able to provide both technical assistance and financial contributions.”

The Service contributed $873,000 to the project from federal funding for Hurricane Sandy recovery and resilience. To date, the agency and its partners have removed nine dams in the Northeast, opening more than 85 river miles to fish passage and increasing public safety and coastal resilience.

“Removing this dam will help make the community safer and the coast stronger,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber. “The migratory fish that benefit from this project not only support commercial and recreational fishing, but also feed colonial nesting birds on the island units of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge. It’s truly a win both for wildlife and people.”

AECOM Technical Services Inc. completed all the design and engineering work for the project and is also providing construction inspection and oversight during removal. SumCo Eco Contracting, LLC was hired to complete the removal. The entire removal process should take less than a month.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

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