PRESS RELEASE: May 4, “Reconnecting Rivers” Dana Dam Removal Celebration

The site of Dana Dam, two months post removal

New Haven, CT – Please join Save the Sound, Trout Unlimited, and the Town of Wilton to celebrate the removal of Dana Dam (aka Strong Pond Dam) on May 4. 

Dana Dam was built in the early 1940s by Charles Dana to create a recreational pond. For 80 years, the dam (and others like it along the Norwalk River) blocked movement of fish and river wildlife, increased water temperatures, and submerged the natural floodplain of the river. With active removal projects and natural breaching of dams upstream and downstream, Dana Dam became the highest priority for removal and reconnection of Norwalk’s ecosystem. 

Dana Dam during construction removal
Project lead Alex Krofta and a park visitor watch the dam’s removal

The dam’s removal during the week of September 11, 2023, reconnected 10 upstream miles of river habitat. “The removal of the Dana Dam is a massive win for the Norwalk’s wild and native trout population,” says Gerald Berrafati of Trout Unlimited, Mianus Chapter. “With the Dana Dam gone, trout can seek out this critical spawning and thermal refuge habitat.” In addition to river residents like trout, reconnected river miles are critical for diadromous fish – like eels and river herring – that migrate between Long Island Sound and freshwater streams to spawn.   

Learn more about the story of Dana Dam on our blog here. 

This celebration event will include tree planting, remarks from the Town of Wilton, Save the Sound, and Trout Unlimited, as well as a guided site walk and light refreshments. 

Project lead Paul Woodworth documents the newly restored site

Reconnecting Rivers: Dana Dam Removal Celebration  

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024  
Time: 9 a.m. Volunteer Planting; 11 a.m. Project Celebration & Site Walk  
Address: Merwin Meadows Park, 52 Lovers Lane, Wilton, CT 06897  

Register to attend the Site Celebration here. 

What to Expect:  

9:00 a.m. – Volunteer Planting: Contribute to the restoration efforts by participating in our tree planting event.   

11:00 a.m. – Project Celebration: If you’re not joining the planting event, please arrive by 11 a.m. and head towards the Dana Dam removal site. Our staff will greet you in the parking area.  

11:15 a.m. – Remarks: Hear from Alex Krofta, Save the Sound’s Ecological Restoration Project Manager, Toni Boucher, the Town of Wilton’s First Selectman, and Gerald Berrafati from Trout Unlimited.  

11:30 a.m. – Optional Site Walk: Join us for a guided walk to learn more about the restored site or continue enjoying refreshments.  

12:00 p.m. – Event Conclusion  

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