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Dam demolition improving flow and ecosystem of Quinnipiac River

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MERIDEN--Connecticut is home to about 4,000 dams, but now there's one less on the Quinnipiac River.

Demolition of the Carpenters Dam is restoring a better flow to the river.

The dam served no purpose because the mill that used it is long gone.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been collaborating with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, as well as Save The Sound, on the $800,000 project.

They expect it to help restore migratory fish populations, such as spawning shad and alewife, in the river, as well as help habitat on the coast as nutrient rich sediment will flow downriver better.

The overall plan already included the demolition of the Clark Brothers Dam in Southington, and within a year, crews expect to remove a large pipe stretching across the river, which canoers and kayakers are looking forward to.

"That's the kind of final piece of all of this work is to also bring people back to the river," Lauren Bennett, a restoration biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said.  "And improve recreational opportunities for people in the river."

The project is being paid for through fines levied for past contamination of the river.

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