Deconstructing Dana Dam

Located in Merwin Meadows Park, Dana Dam (also known as Strong Pond Dam) currently represents the first impassable barrier for migratory fish on the Norwalk River. It also poses a threat to nearby Metro-North railroad infrastructure and downtown Wilton. Its removal would mitigate flood risks, provide high quality habitat for Brown Trout and other popular sport fish, and restore riverbank habitat for rabbits, frogs, and other wildlife. But removing a dam of this size and age is not easy or cheap. Save the Sound is the most experienced dam removal organization in the state, and we are well on our way to raising nearly $2.7M from federal grants and private foundations for this project. That leaves us just a bit short of making this landmark project a reality, a gap we need your help to close! 

Following the removal of the Flock Process Dam (Norwalk) in 2018, Dana Dam at Merwin Meadows Park (Wilton) became the first barrier to fish migration on the Norwalk River. Once Dana Dam is removed, the Factory Pond Dam in Georgetown will be the last remaining barrier before the entire length of the Norwalk River runs free!

A Note from the Field

The logistics of physically removing a dam is just one piece of the puzzle; making sure the resulting water levels and flow patterns will not pose a risk to upstream and downstream infrastructure is something we consider very carefully. We also want to ensure that the resulting conditions provide suitable habitat for the fish and wildlife that live in and around the river.

While Dana Dam has unique challenges given the history and location of the site, the tremendous ecological and recreational value of the Norwalk River means that the benefits of this project greatly outweigh the complexities.

Alex Krofta, ecological restoration project manager at Save the Sound

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