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News Dam Removal Creates Jobs, Stimulates the Economy

This year DER investigated the economic impact of the removal of Barstowe’s Pond Dam and the Tack Factory Dam
5/10/2019
  • Division of Ecological Restoration
Two images showing dam removal work in process

This year DER investigated the economic impact of the removal of Barstowe’s Pond Dam in Taunton and the Tack Factory Dam on the border of Hanover and Norwell. Applying standard economic analysis methods, DER found that the two projects created 17 jobs and $2.8 million in economic activity. The two projects also saved the dam owners costly dam repairs, inspections, and maintenance. The results build on a 2012 study by DER which found that restoration projects such as dam removals create or maintain 12.5 jobs and $1.75 million in economic activity for every $1 million spent.

Removal of the obsolete Tack Factory Dam in 2017 reconnected nearly 7 miles of eastern brook trout habitat in Third Herring Brook, a tributary to the North River estuary. The nonprofit Cardinal Cushing Centers faced a $535,000 cost to repair the dam, plus additional future costs for safety inspections and maintenance. DER, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, NOAA Fisheries, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service helped the dam owner through the removal process. Removing the dam cost approximately $489,000. Federal and state grants and technical services from DER greatly reducing the cost to the dam owner. This project generated approximately 6 jobs and $1 million in economic activity.

Taunton Barstowe’s Pond Dam was an unwanted, unsafe, high hazard dam that blocked the Cotley River, a tributary to the nationally-designated Wild and Scenic Taunton River. The owner faced nearly $980,000 in costs to repair the dam, with additional future costs for inspections and maintenance. DER and partners, including the Taunton Development Corporation, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and Save the Bay, removed the dam for approximately $650,000. Federal and state grants and technical services from DER greatly reduced the cost to the dam owner. The project generated approximately 11 jobs and $1.8 million in economic activity.

Images: Work on the Cotley River Restoration, Barstowe Dam Removal

Division of Ecological Restoration 

DER restores and protects rivers, wetlands, and watersheds in Massachusetts for the benefit of people and the environment.
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