Learning about river management and flood prevention

On the bus for a Camden tour of Megunticook River dams

Sun, 07/16/2023 - 8:00pm

    Approximately 70 residents participated in a June 27 comprehensive dam tour held by the Megunticook River Citizens Advisory Committee and led by Camden Public Works Director Dave St. Laurent. 

    On board the two commissioned school buses were Camden Select Board members, town officials and interested citizens, all visiting Camden’s West, Seabright, and Montgomery dams, four of the seven dams that sit along the Megunticook River.

    The East and West Dams are the only dams that control the water level of Megunticook Lake and are not being considered for removal, according to a news release from the FB Environmental Associates, the company engaged by the Town of Camden to help assess the river and watershed, and create a vision for its future.

    The Seabright Dam controls water levels of the impoundment from the Molyneaux Road to the dam and is likewise not being considered for removal.

    The Montgomery Dam contains an impoundment in downtown Camden up to the Bagel Café. It is being considered for removal, along with other options for modification that will permit fish passage. These four dams are all owned by the Town of Camden, while the remaining three dams on the Megunticook River are privately owned.

    Throughout the tour, St. Laurent shared his knowledge and expertise, providing insightful explanations about dam operations and their significance, the release said. Participants were able to witness firsthand the complex mechanisms involved in operating the dams, gaining a deeper understanding of their crucial role in river management and flood prevention.

    Participants also engaged in discussions, posing questions to St. Laurent, and fostered a dialogue that addressed individual concerns and questions regarding the dams and water control measures, the release said.

    “The dam tour received overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who attended, highlighting the value of such hands-on experiences for the Megunticook River Watershed project,’ the release said. “Encouraged by the response, the MRCAC expressed its intention to organize similar interactive events in the future, aiming to further engage community members and promote a deeper understanding of the watershed.”

    For more information on the watershed and to stay up-to-date on the MRCAC, visit megunticookrivercac.com/ . To sign for the MRCAC newsletter or to ask a question, email megunticookriver@fbenvironmental.com