Removal of 17th-century urban dam to restore New Hampshire rivers and estuary

The end is near for the Great Dam.

A $1.8 million plan to remove the 17th-century dam in the heart of Exeter, New Hampshire’s historic downtown recently got a big boost when the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration approved $610,960 of funding for the removal project through the Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grant Program.

The program’s goal is to create healthy and sustainable coastal ecosystems through habitat restoration.

According to the town, the project was one of only six habitat restoration projects in the country to be picked.

The project is expected to begin in July after voters in 2014 OK’d the removal of the dam, which dates back to 1647 and sits at the point where the Exeter River (fresh water) and the Squamscott River (salt water) meet.

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