Connecticut River Conservancy is thrilled to celebrate our annual Restoration Partners of the Year!

Several key members of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife staff are recognized for their incredible work on the Beaver Brook dam removal and culvert upgrade to a new bridge project in Wilmington, Vermont, completed earlier this year.

Pictured above are Ron Rhodes, CRC’s Director of Restoration; Dave Sagan from the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program at U.S. Fish & Wildlife; Phillip Herzig and Julie Butler from the Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program at U.S. Fish & Wildlife; and Becky Budd, CRC’s Restoration Program Manager. This project wouldn’t have happened without USFWS funding and their staff expertise in implementing river restoration projects like this.

Restoring Beaver Brook (a tributary to the Deerfield River) to a free-flowing river will improve water quality, reconnect native Brook trout habitat, and support flood resiliency in the area. 

CRC received funding for the project from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, as well as the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation through the Dam Removal Design and Implementation Block Grant administered by Watersheds United Vermont, as well as Vermont’s Flood Resilient Communities Fund, the Vermont Watershed Grant Program, Deerfield River Enhancement Fund, and the VT Rural Fire Protection Dry Hydrant Grant Program.

Ecological and community benefits will include the following:
  • Increased water flow, water quality, and oxygen levels for aquatic organism health.
  • Increased aquatic organism passage (AOP), including native Brook trout which require access to cold water habitats for reproductive spawning.
  • Lower 100-yr flood elevation level by 7 feet.
  • Eliminate the disruption of emergency services during future storm events.

You can see the new bridge below along with the view from the bridge showing a free-flowing river where a dam used to be!

Additional information is available here, with a video of the work done during the summer of 2023 here, and previous dam removal projects by Connecticut River Conservancy and partners here.

Thanks to Dave, Julie, and Phillip for their incredible partnership.