Northeast - Dam Cam
to Capture Removal of New Hampshire’s Merrimack Village Dam
For more than 260 years, the Merrimack Village Dam ( Merrimack, NH) served its purpose as a saw mill, gristmill and processing water for an old factory. Now way past its prime, and scheduled for demolition this week, the dam has one last role — that of movie star.
This week, as construction begins on the Merrimack Village Dam, NOAA — in partnership with Conservation Law Foundation and Gomez and Sullivan — will its first ever "dam cam," a wireless stream of photos and time-lapse video that will document the entire removal of the dam. Viewers will be able to watch
as backhoes and bulldozers to jackhammer and remove the dam’s wall of concrete and restore a free-flowing Souhegan River, a major tributary to the Merrimack River. Using technologies provided by EarthCam
, Inc, the removal photos will be captured every 10 minutes, with a time-lapse film starting today through August 30. After the dam removal is complete, the camera will continue to capture footage for the following five months as the river heals.
The Merrimack Village Dam was one of a series of dams originally constructed in the 1730s to power industry in New Hampshire. Today, the dam is no longer in use and presents a public safety hazard liability for its owner. When the removal is complete, it will restore fish passage to more than 14 miles of the Souhegan River all the way to Milford, New Hampshire, providing extensive habitat for river herring, Atlantic salmon, American shad and American eel. Removal of the dam is also expected to provide an excellent stretch of class III whitewater for canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts.
The Merrimack Dam removal is part of NOAA’s Open Rivers Initiative, a national effort to restore the historic river habitat of migratory fish and other species that travel between ocean-coastal and upstream freshwater areas. Projects include removing derelict dams, culverts and other river barriers. Through the Open Rivers Initiative, NOAA outlines specific consensus steps developed by expert scientists, engineers, biologists and members of the local public, working together. Merrimack Village Dam is one of NOAA’s largest and difficult Open Rivers projects to date.