The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, in partnership with federal and state conservation agencies, is celebrating the pending removal of the Weston Mill Dam at Lincoln Avenue Park in Manville, Somerset County, NJ.
“Removing the dam follows nearly a decade of scientific investigation and advocacy by the Watershed Association, and investments by federal and state agencies,” said Jim Waltman, Executive Director of the Watershed. “This is a key piece in restoring the ecological integrity of the Millstone River. We’re thrilled to help return runs of fish that have been lost for nearly three centuries.”
A dam near the hamlet of Weston has existed since about 1750. Demolition of the Weston Mill Dam will restore historic routes for migrating American shad and other fish that have been blocked ever since. Removing the dam also will restore natural river flows, improve water quality and remove a serious hazard to recreational boaters.
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and others will speak on the western bank of the Millstone River immediately downstream from the dam, which is located between Manville and Franklin Townships.
The removal of the Weston Mill Dam is part of a larger project undertaken by multiple partners to restore migratory fish populations in the Raritan River Basin.
Benefits of the dam removal include:
- Restoring historic migration routes for American shad and other fish that have been blocked for nearly three centuries
- Adding about 4.5 more miles of spawning ground for American shad and other fish
- Improving water quality
- Increasing safety for recreational users of the Millstone River
- Restoring ecological integrity of 4.5 miles of the Millstone River from the Weston Mill Dam to the Blackwells Mills Dam