Vermont: State Grant Will Help Pay for East Burke Dam Removal

East Burke, Vt. - The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC) received a $150,000 grant from the State of Vermont's Ecosystem Restoration Grant to help pay for the removal of the old dam on the Passumpsic River in East Burke.

According to the project manager Ron Rhodes, the dam removal will open up 99 miles of stream for trout and other aquatic wildlife.

"Removing the old dam also will lower flood elevations in downtown East Burke, improve water quality and sediment transport downstream, and improve recreational access for swimmers, boaters and fishers," Rhodes said.

In addition to the grant, CRC received funding from the Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Fish & Wildlife foundation, said officials.

The grant is part of the State's new Clean Water Initiative Program.

A media release from CRC says the funding will help protect the State's water quality in addition to protecting and restoring the Passumpsic River.

"The East Burke Dam, similar to other old dams, causes significant impacts to riverine health, is subject to ice jams and heightens flood hazards. The East Burke Dam has deteriorated to a point where these impacts now outweigh its usefulness," said Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Clean Water Initiative Program Assistant Manager Marli Rupe. 

According to the CRC, the dam removal start date is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 10.

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