Press Release: Save the Sound Receives Support to Monitor and Investigate Blind Brook Dam at Rye High School for Potential Future Removal

Rye, New York – Save the Sound has been awarded $109,984 to initiate a dam removal feasibility study for the first dam on Blind Brook at Rye High School, in Rye, NY. The funding, provided through the Marine Habitat Tributary Restoration and Resiliency Grant funded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, will support Save the Sound in working collaboratively with the Rye City School District, Rye Sustainability Committee, City of Rye Conservation Commission Advisory Council, and Rye Nature Center to identify potential effects of removing the existing dam, locate upstream barriers to migratory fish, and conduct baseline water quality monitoring. Dam removal at this site has the potential to reconnect 3.5 miles of migratory fish habitat for river herring and American eel along Blind Brook. Funds will support field assessment and lab analysis at Save the Sound’s Larchmont laboratory. Throughout this reconnaissance project, Save the Sound will hold community meetings to collect information, share findings, and keep constituents updated on the progress of the study and ways to get involved.

“Save the Sound would like to thank the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for their generous funding of the Blind Brook dam reconnaissance project,” says Laura Wildman, regional director of ecological restoration. “The Blind Brook Dam is the first barrier to migratory fish on the Blind Brook and this work will allow us to investigate options for the dam such that historic fish runs can be restored and water quality improved. We are excited to be working on this project with the Rye High School and their students who will be playing a critical role in this dam removal feasibility study, particularly as we monitor water quality upstream and downstream of the dam. It is wonderful when restoration projects can come together under a truly integrated community approach and develop our future river stewards.”

Katie Friedman, New York ecological restoration program manager, has worked with the community of Rye in the past on the installation of a rain garden and outreach with students of the Rye High School. Student Delia Bajuk created her own research project with support from Save the Sound to begin monitoring the water quality and temperature below and above the dam. This grant will help to continue to engage Delia and her peers’ work and engagement with the site.

Read more about Delia’s initiative in our blog here.

Blind Brook Dam in Rye, New York (left), has caught the attention of Rye High School senior, Delia Bajuk, who hopes to raise awareness of the benefits of waterway restoration through her involvement in the water quality sampling work she has already initiated this year. The grant from the DEC will support Delia and her classmates’ participation in the project.

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