The Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) is leading a federal, state, and local partnership to improve water quality and restore aquatic habitat on the Mill River in Taunton. 

The Mill River is a tributary to the dam-free Wild and Scenic Taunton River which in turn flows into Narragansett Bay.  National attention focused on the Mill River in 2005 when Whittenton Dam came close to failing during an extreme flood.  The crisis catalyzed the City, agencies and NGOs to examine the public safety benefits of removing three aging dams on the Mill River.  With guidance from DER and others, the Mill River Restoration Partners  and dam owners began to explore removing the three obsolete dams and building a fish ladder at a fourth.

Hopewell Mills Dam before removal
Hopewell Mills Dam before removal
West Britannia Dam in Taunton, MA
West Britannia Dam
Whittenton Dam in Taunton, MA
Whittenton Dam

Now, the Mill River Restoration Project is underway:

  • Hopewell Mills Dam was removed in 2012.
  • A fish ladder was constructed at Morey’s Bridge Dam in 2012
  • Whittenton Dam was removed in 2013
  • West Britannia Dam will be removed in 2014
Hopewell Mills Dam during removal
Hopewell Mills Dam during removal
Hopewell Mills Dam site after removal - free running river
Hopewell Mills Dam site after removal