Dams and Sediment in the Hudson (DaSH)
In 2016, the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve began a collaborative project with UMass, WHOI, and CBI entitled Dams and
Timor Park Dam, photo credit: Andrew Meyer
Sediment in the Hudson (or, DaSH). The goal of this project, supported by NOAA NERRS Science Collaborative, is to quantify the effects of dam removal on sediment transport and wetland sustainability in the Hudson River Estuary.
An overview of the project:
Hundreds of dams built on tributaries of the Hudson River estuary have altered the way that sediment moves through the system. Natural resource managers are now interested in removing some of these dams to improve connectivity of aquatic habitats, restore fish spawning habitat, and reduce risks of dam failures. A priority management need of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve is to improve the scientific understanding of the impacts that dam removals have on sediment transport and downstream tidal wetlands, including how these might change under future climate conditions.
This project will address needs identified by managers and regulators to assess the immediate impacts of sediment that is released when a dam is removed, as well as the longer term implications. The approach combines field observations with analysis of sediment movement using a proven hydrodynamic model. The project will develop watershed assessment tools for permitting dam removals and establish an improved scientific basis for considering the potential downstream benefits in regulatory decision-making.
Targeted End Users and Anticipated Products
- Regulators will have access to new watershed assessment tools to help them evaluate the downstream impacts of dam removal.
- Landowners, marsh managers, and federal and state restoration planners will receive training, project reports, and analysis tools to assess how dam removal will affect sediment conditions downstream.
- Project findings and tools will be shared with resource and estuarine managers in similar systems.
–April 6, 2017–
DaSH has gathered an Advisory Committee, which consists of representatives from a diverse array of academic, governmental, and non-profit agencies. This Committee will meet several times over the span of the project, with the first meeting taking place in mid-late June 2017.
The selection of study sites in the Stockport Watershed is currently underway. In June 2017, the research team will visit potential sites to survey impoundment conditions and take preliminary cores; the final selection of the 6 study sites will occur by July 2017.