KNOWLTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. - A $7 million project is underway to remove the Columbia Lake Dam in Knowlton Township in Warren County, New Jersey.
The removal of the 18-foot high dam will make a large stretch of the Paulins Kill, a tributary of the Delaware river, free flowing.
The project will restore the habitat for migratory fish, specifically the American shad and American eel, and will enhance the public's recreational enjoyment of the area.
"This project, part of a larger effort to restore rivers in the state to free-flowing conditions by removing obsolete dams, is a fine example of partners working collaboratively and innovatively to enhance a natural resource," Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said. "The removal of this dam will restore the ecological diversity of the Paulins Kill, opening a 10-mile stretch of the river to fish passage for the first time in more than a century."
The Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Natural Resource Restoration secured $5 million from Natural Resource Damage settlements and the Nature Conservancy is providing an additional $1.4 million to fund the dam removal.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fisheries Program, the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are funding the remaining cost of the project.
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