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Best dam news of the week

The Swellesley Report reports the Natick select board has voted to simply remove the aging dam on the Charles River in South Natick rather than trying to repair it.

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Comments

Standing by for the unintended consequences.

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Voting closed 7

These low-head dams are dangerous to swimmers and boaters, bad for fish, and a flooding risk.

Downsides: They can be scenic, and it costs money to remove them. (But that spending can happen at a time of your choosing, or when it starts to fail and becomes an emergency.)

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Voting closed 34

Because nobody has ever removed a defunct dam before, and nobody ever looked at what happens when they do.

Especially not on the Charles or other rivers in the area.

Got it.

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Voting closed 26

If it was downstream of a tidal flat area (natural or man-made) and you break the dam, then the flats will become muddy swamp and the river will restore back to a single channel instead of a quasi-pond. That's better for a lot of reasons, but it might temporarily increase the smell and/or decrease the view.

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Voting closed 12

we can replant the exposed banks.

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Voting closed 12

Waiting to hear what "unintended consequences" would result from removing an aging dam in a planned way, as opposed to simply letting it rot and fail in an unplanned way.

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Voting closed 10

Waiting to hear what "unintended consequences" would result from removing an aging dam in a planned way, as opposed to simply letting it rot and fail in an unplanned way.

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Voting closed 3

This ought to be VERY interesting for upstream navigation and for changes to fishing.
At least some nice wide marshy riverbanks will form. Scullers may have some difficulty for sure. Canoeists, kayakers, and paddleboarders, not so much.

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Voting closed 3

Not being a smartass, actually curious. The river narrows down quite a bit not too far upstream, which would seem to make it different to scull on.

Related question, for any sculling folks in the thread: Would sculling be possible anywhere on the Charles if not for dams?

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Voting closed 2

We can't keep essential services functioning safely in this state, and you want me to believe that'll a dam will be removed because it's the cheap way to go and we'll all live happily ever after. I'll hold a spot for you in the lawsuit line.

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Voting closed 4

Tell me you don't know how dams work without telling me you don't know how dams work.

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Voting closed 11

Hold my beer, Carl.

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This is about basic respect for the indigenous people of this land who have specifically called for its removal, it's also about respect for the land and the river and all life that depends on it. I am glad they did the right thing.

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Voting closed 9

it is not about respect, its about recovery from industry.

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Voting closed 4

Link's not working for me.

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Voting closed 3

The link worked when I first saw this item, but not anymore.

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Voting closed 2

and here's a link to their story, which Swellesley Report had referred to:

https://www.natickreport.com/2022/11/natick-select-board-votes-4-to-1-to...

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Voting closed 2