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UPDATE: Contractors Begin Removing Maine's Veazie Dam
07/22/2013 11:39 AM ET  

The dam's destruction is part of the $62 million Penobscot River Restoration Project, which environmentalists say will restore once-abundant marine life to the state's largest river.

Contractors have begun the process of removing the 830-foot long Veazie Dam on Maine's Penobscot River. Workers breached the structure late this morning following a ceremony within site of the dam running between Veazie and Eddington, not far from Bangor.

Penobscot River Restoration Trust Executive Director Laura Rose Day said that the dam's removal comes after years of effort by a number of people.

"This is a team started many decades ago, long before I was involved at all," Day said, "and I am so grateful to the people that kept a watch over this river for so many years and made possible what's happening today."

The dam's destruction is part of the $62 million Penobscot River Restoration Project, which environmentalists say will restore once-abundant marine life to the state's largest river.

The project also included the removal of the Great Works Dam last summer.

Organizers say that the hydropower dam's removal will allow Atlantic salmon and other sea-run fish to avoid its deadly turbines and pass freely to more spawning habitat.

Removing the Veazie Dam, the dam closest to the sea, will also connect that part of the river with the Gulf of Maine for the first time in nearly 200 years.

This story was produced by Ed Morin, with material copyright The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.



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