Willimantic River Restoration
During the 1700 – 1800s, numerous dams were constructed on the Willimantic River in Willimantic, CT. In 2007, Willimantic Whitewater Partnership (WWP) purchased a 3.4 acre waterfront parcel that includes a dam. Eastern Connecticut Conservation District and Willimantic Whitewater Partnership (WWP) are working together to remove the dam and restore the river to its free-flowing condition.
The Willimantic River is a sub-watershed of the Thames River Basin which discharges into Long Island Sound. The Willimantic River Restoration project involves removing a dam to restore the free-flowing condition of the Willimantic River, and to restore the natural functions of the river and movement of native and migratory fish along the river.
Restoring the free-flowing condition of the river will serve multiple benefits: 1) restore natural functions of the river such as oxygenation of the water and nutrient and sediment transport, 2) allow for fish to pass from reaches below the dam to upriver sections, 3) improve water quality and 4) facilitate whitewater recreation.
The Willimantic River Restoration project is a comprehensive approach to river restoration. When complete, it will serve as a model for river restoration by not only providing numerous environmental benefits but also providing recreational, lifestyle and economic opportunities to the community.
* Project removes artificial barriers that restrict passage and/or natural flow of water for some period of the year