Dam Removal and Diadromous Restoration of the Norwalk River Watershed at Merwin Meadows Park, Connecticut

Wilton, Connecticut

Funded in FY2022 by the National Fish Habitat Partnership.

The derelict Dana Dam (also known as Strong Pond Dam) on the Norwalk River is blocking access to natural spawning and nursery habitat for diadromous fish species such as American shad, alewife, and blueback herring. This is contributing to a decline in populations of these forage fish, which are essential to the food chain and health of Long Island Sound. Through complete removal of the dam in Merwin Meadows Park, partial channel construction, partial channel realignment, and beneficial on-site sediment use, Save the Sound will restore fish passage and ecological connectivity to 6.5 upstream river miles, forming a free-flowing 17 mile stretch of the Norwalk River to Long Island Sound. The work will also remove a safety hazard; reconnect 1.13 acres of heterogeneous floodplain; reduce thermal, chemical, and other physical impacts to 1/4 mile of the Norwalk River; and educate visitors through volunteer events and interpretive signs.

Text and photos provided by Save the Sound.