Beaverdam Dam Removal Project
In the fall of 2016, a project was proposed to remove the dam located in the Beaverdam community of Canton, North Carolina. For years, the dam has been blocking aquatic organisms’ passages into the stream. In December 2015, the dam breached and is now bleeding accumulated sediment and other materials into the stream which feeds into the Pigeon River. Not only did this breach damage the dam but it has also caused losses of habitats and decline in fish populations. The Southwestern RC&D Council, as well as several other organizations like American Rivers, Haywood Soil and Water Conservation District, Haywood Waterways Association, Town of Canton, US Fish and Wildlife, and NC Wildlife Resource Commission have partnered with the Pigeon River Recovery Project to help restore the stream as well as remove the dam. The project has received grants from the Pigeon River Fund (PRF) and American Rivers that will go toward permitting and engineering the project, removal of the dam, and stream restoration. Once this project is complete, it will have achieved three objectives specified by PRF: improving surface water quality, enhancing fish and wildlife habitats, and increasing citizens’ awareness of the importance of healthy streams. The completion date is now projected to be in November of 2017.