This post backtracks a little bit. But since I didn’t post much over the winter I thought it would be worthwhile to give a brief summary of some activities. I’ll try to get a few more of these out over the next few weeks….

Throughout 2008 JRWA worked closely with a team of partners to conduct a feasibility study for restoration options at the Wapping Road. The project involved a big group of private, local, state, and federal partners. This included Jones River Realty Trust (the property owner), the Town of Kingston (Cons. Comm.), Division of Marine Fisheries, the Riverways Program, and NOAA Marine Fisheries. The bulk of the technical work was conducted by Milone & MacBroom Inc, a well known river restoration firm. Our study was guided by a specific set of goals for the river:

  • Restore the river habitat back to a more natural environment.
  • Reduce operation and maintenance requirements of the Wapping Road Dam.
  • Promote long-term sustainability at the dam and of the river system.
  • Avoid or mitigate impacts to the Wapping Road Bridge relative to scour and stability.
  • Create a condition that is compatible with the adjacent mill buildings, considering structural stability as well as ongoing and future operations.
  • Pass target fish species, including alewife, blueback herring, American eel, and sea lamprey.
  • Improve the upstream water quality in the Jones River.
  • Maintain or enhance habitat for rare species that may occur in the project area.
  • Promote recreational use of the river (i.e., canoeing and kayaking).

The study assessed the engineering, biological, ecological, economic, and logistical issues surrounding a variety of alternatives for the site. The alternatives considered included doing nothing, installing a fish ladder, installing a bypass channel, installing a roughened ramp, removing portions of the dam, and removing the entire dam. After weighing the pros and cons of each alternative, it was determined that full removal of the dam would best meet the project goals.