Burnt Mills Dam Removal and Riparian Restoration

Project Purpose:

 

(1) Remove derelict dam at Burnt Mill on the Lamington River, the downstream most dam in the North Branch of the Raritan River.  (2) Restore the riverbed and riparian corridor in the vicinity of the old dam. (3) Improve fish passage for trout, American eel, and other species. (4) Protect and restore habit for the endangered brook floater mussel.  (5) Restore flood plan habitat and reconnect the river to its floodplain.  (6)  Control invasive plant species on site.  (7) Use the project as a tool to conduct outreach to and educate local residents and stakeholders who rely on the river for recreation and safe, clean drinking water. 

 

Brief Description:

This project proposes to remove the Burnt Mill Dam on the Lamington River on preserved open space owned and managed by Raritan Headwaters, a 501(c)(3) watershed association.  Historically this dam serviced a mill located onsite but currently has no function.  The dam was breached in the 1950's and has remained breached to this current day.  The dam, in its current state, is de-stabilizing the adjacent stream bank (river left), and has re-routed the river's flow path which has negatively impacted aquatic organism habitat as well as fish passage. The goal of the project is to remove the remnant structure and restore the degraded area of the river to provide a sizable ecological uplift to the river and reduce flooding of adjacent properties.  

 

Resource Values/Project Outputs:

The projects resource values include riparian floodplain and wetland habitats, critical habitat for endangered and threatened mussel species, habitat for native fish and wildlife, flood abatement, water quality improvements, and recreation. The objectives of this project are to improve water quality within the watershed, stabilize severe stream bank erosion, help alleviate the dam's contribution to local flooding, improve sediment transport, and enhance aquatic organism habitat.

 

Schedule: We will initiate the project in October 2019 and expect to complete the project prior to May 1, 2020.  

 

Permit Status: We applied for a dam safety permit and a Fresh Water Wetlands General Permit 16 earlier this year.  We received both permits in late September.

 

List of Partners: 

Raritan Headwaters; Natural Resources Conservation Service; US Fish & Wildlife Service; Trout Unlimited; Somerset County.

 

What is requested from the CWRP/Contribution: Financial contribution of $20,000 to close a funding gap and complete construction work on the project.  The total project budget is $249,000.

 

Point of Contact: William S. Kibler, Director of Policy, Raritan Headwaters, (908) 234-1852, ext. 312, bkibler@raritanheadwaters.org 

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