Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that $1 million to fund removal of the state-owned Springborn Dam on the Scantic River in Enfield was approved at Friday's meeting of the state Bond Commission.
"The Springborn Dam is obsolete and long ago stopped serving any useful purpose. For the sake of public safety, it needs to come down," said Governor Malloy. "Its removal will bring many benefits, including the restoration of environmental habitats that will be enjoyed by residents and fisherman alike."
Removing the dam will eliminate a migratory barrier to diadromous fish (fish that can live in both fresh water and salt water) and Eastern Brook Trout and help restore the runs of American shad, River herring, Sea lamprey, and American eel. In addition, the funding also demonstrates a commitment by the state to restore fish passage along the Scantic River that could lead to federal funds for future restoration projects there. The sediment behind the dam is also contaminated with material from former manufacturing activities at the site so if the dam failed, contamination could be released downstream.
"The Springborn Dam is the first dam on this Connecticut River tributary and is blocking runs of migratory fish," said Department of Energy and Environmental Commissioner Robert Klee. "When fish can get past this dam, it opens up nearly three additional miles of spawning habitat and sets the stage for a future project that will open up even more miles. Removing the dam is the most cost-effective solution to the environmental and natural resource issues at the site."