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I am working with Restoration Systems (a wetlands and stream mitigation firm) to coordinate a campaign to raise awareness and build support for the removal of the Old Milburnie Dam on the Neuse River in Raleigh, NC. Removal of the dam would restore the river habitat and greatly improve fishing opportunities.

Brief Background:

Restoration Systems has submitted its proposal to remove the Milburnie Dam and restore the Neuse River to the Army Corps of Engineers. Once the Corps issues the permit, the project can proceed.

Before the Corps issues its permit, Restoration Systems must host a Public Information Workshop, which has been scheduled for Thursday, December 6, 2012 (6-8pm).

Before that public information workshop, we will be working with Restoration Systems and the coalition of supporters to do two things:

  • Encourage supporters to attend the workshop on 12/6.
  • Ask all supporters to sign the online petition. (available on the websites above)

The key points we're emphasizing are that removing the dam will:

  • Prevent tragic drownings (At least 11 people have drowned near the dam, including 2 young men in 2008 and 2 small children (7 and 10) in 2012)
  • Restore the Neuse River to its natural state
  • Open 15 miles of river to spawning migratory fish
  • Improve canoeing, kayaking and fishing opportunities

I would appreciate any support from the NC Angler community. I encourage you to sign the petition and/or attend the Public Information Workshop in Raleigh on December 6 at 6pm.

Thank you!
 

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I am undecided on this...

From the old timers I talked to that fished the Neuse say the fishing was much better before the other 2 dams were removed. Also I have been told that with the removal of will more than likely lead to more land development which definitely doesnt benefit the river.

It is sad that people drown by the dam, but many people drown in places on rivers where there are no dams near by.

I think the wetlands behind the dam would suffer greatly if removed...
 

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Re: Brenardo

Brenardo, thanks for your questions. According to environmental experts, there would actually be more fish since they will be able to migrate upstream. Some of the wetlands will lose standing water, but Restoration Systems anticipates they will remain wetlands. The most noticeable difference will be less standing water and much more wetland vegetation.

It is true that compensatory mitigation is related to development and permitted impacts to aquatic resources elsewhere. However, it is the responsibility of regulatory permitting agencies to ensure that permitted impacts are subject to appropriate scrutiny in the avoidance and minimization process. Mitigation is properly addressed after the impact has been decided. To that end, compensatory mitigation does NOT enable destruction – it offsets it.

Please view this video for more information about the Milburnie Dam removal project:

[video=youtube;vSQyVyaf1zs]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSQyVyaf1zs[/video]

If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
 

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Lars -

Do you have a stake in removing the dam? Are you an employee or contractor of a company which would be involved in removing the dam, evaluating the removal of the dam, or developing the land in that area?

I ask because your arguments seem very one-sided. Putting a picture of the dam with the word "danger" on it, mentioning drownings, and commenting on "greatly improved fishing opportunities" on a fishing site seems to be rather manipulative to me. Also, the link you provided is to a site that is sponsored by a company dedicated to destroying the dam.

Doesn't the existing dam create navigatible water behind it that is suited for fishing? "Greatly improved fishing opportunities" for what type of fish? It's a zero-sum game, so what type of fishing would be hurt by this dam removal?

Also, who pays for this? I'm not sure that I want my tax dollars going to pay some private company for a pork barrel project that may or may not be needed.

Here's a link to a Raleigh newspaper article that lists the downsides of removing the dam....
http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/12/10/1701238/firm-again-asks-to-remove-neuses.html

I think that there is more than enough reason to be concerned with this project.

I encourage anyone to research this on their own before they sign a petition that may not be to their benefit.
 

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From another article about this in the same paper

"The Neuse project is potentially worth millions to Restoration Systems, which has also extracted dams on the Deep and Little rivers, because of environmental credits that could be gained and sold"
 

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The river below the dam is barely navigable... was told by many that this was not the case prior to dam being removed around Goldsboro.

I can honestly say I am leaning towards not wanting the dam removed.
 

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I don't know enough about the river/dam to have much to say about whether it is a good or a bad idea.

But I do know enough to recognize it when someone is trying to sell me some snake oil, and in a very patronizing way at that. So I decided to research it just a little bit, and in 4-5 minutes, I came up with those two links.

IMO, if it was a worthy project, it wouldn't have to be pitched in such a manner to us.
 
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A quick check on Lar's profile. He has provided the information that he works for Eckel & Vaughan.

Another quick check on the internet tells us that Eckel & Vaughn is a non-traditional ad agency hired by companies to start conversations on the internet, in message boards, pintrest, facebook, and twitter about topics their clients wish.

While I may be wrong, it certainly appears to me that this guy has been paid to join our site, post slanted information, and get us to help his clients on this project.

His patronizing tone was probably thrown in for free.
 

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Here's a link to a Raleigh newspaper article that lists the downsides of removing the dam....
http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/12/10/1701238/firm-again-asks-to-remove-neuses.html
Thanks Len. I was hoping to have time to go and look for the Neuse Riverkeeper's opinion. She's got a lot better background on the environmental issues than I ever will (or anybody else quoted in the articles):
News and Observer article said:
Upper Neuse Riverkeeper Alissa Bierma said she supports removing the dam to make the Neuse more free-flowing. But she thinks the area where mitigation credits could be used should be smaller.
 

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I work for Restoration Systems and I encourage you all to visit the www.milburniedam.com website where you can view the Prospectus submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers. Also view the Milburnie Dam Informational Video on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSQyVyaf1zs
And to clarify - tax payers money will not be used to pay for the removal. Restoration Systems pays for the removal and will sell mitigation credits to offset development in the Neuse River Basin. The answers Lars provided below are answers I gave him based on our research in compiling the Prospectus document. I will also be glad to answer other questions you might have.
Thanks!
Tiffani
 

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Here is one pre-removal article I found on the Deep River Dam removal:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...h0rAAAAIBAJ&sjid=nR8EAAAAIBAJ&pg=5148,3166960

And another one that is positive:

http://www.news-record.com/content/2007/09/10/article/dam_removal_good_news_for_endangered_fish

And I remember a negative one a long way back on that same project I am trying to find it. They basically stated that it flattened it out and the fishing stunk after that. Ill post it when I find it.

(lol I edited because I spelled dam wrong the first time. Guess I was thinking of National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation where cousin Eddie said "Where can I get some Dam bait?")
 

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From another article about this in the same paper

"The Neuse project is potentially worth millions to Restoration Systems, which has also extracted dams on the Deep and Little rivers, because of environmental credits that could be gained and sold"
I'm not ready to tar and feather people who work for companies that speculate in a free market economy, even the salesmen/lobbyist types. Some governing body has placed a value (environmental credits) on dam removal, and these guys are willing to do the work to try and get those credits in order to sell them to somebody else and make a few (million) bucks. It appears that the Corps is making them jump through the appropriate hoops.

I'm not ready to grab a picket and yell for either removing or saving the dam. Not a whole lot of benefit, not a whole lot of downside in my opinion. Both overinflated. The Neuse Riverkeeper says its good for the river, which is a pretty good confirmation in my book.

I'm not ready to argue against the drowning point. This is a highly populated area and that water would clearly be less dangerous without the dam, which was man-made for a purpose 100-some years ago, and long since stopped serving that purpose. If it saves a couple kids lives every few years, that's not a bad thing. We can't go around eliminating every danger from the planet, but if a profit motive without evil intent can be harnessed to work toward some benefit to public safety, within the rules of the system they operate in (environmental credits, corps management), I'm struggling to find too much to complain about.

We have people in the fishing community who believe none of these dams should remain standing. We have people who enjoy them and the deep water/slack water fishing they offer. I think its good for the community to know that there's a proposal in the works, that there is a public info workshop coming up, and that there are invested people considering whether or not to allow it. The only ones talking about it are the folks speculating on the work - that's the simple fact and the way these projects work.

Would prefer that more of the energy in this thread goes into the message than the messenger. I think I will remove the direct link to the petition, and let folks find it from their website if swayed by the info and interested in doing so.
 

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Ok...

I don't have a horse in this race, as I don't know that section of the Neuse at all.

I just wanted to clearly point out that the thread was started by someone with a vested interest in removing the dam, and not necessarially the same interests as the fishing community, and encourage people to do their own research.

To me, not posting that the information came from a company with a vested interest in removing the dam is about as ethical as someone touting a stock that they own without disclosing the fact.

I won't add to the post any further.
 
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I don't have a horse in this race, as I don't know that section of the Neuse at all.
I guess I'm one of the target beneficiaries - I live less than a mile from the Upper Neuse, above Milburnie, I fish and I kayak. So all the proposed benefits will be at my doorstep.

Still looking forward to hearing from some of the more river-savvy folks in the Raleigh area. Despite my affinity to the purported benefits, I still can't see too much to choose between the horses either.

I just wanted to clearly point out that the thread was started by someone with a vested interest in removing the dam, and not necessarially the same interests as the fishing community, and encourage people to do their own research.

To me, not posting that the information came from a company with a vested interest in removing the dam is about as ethical as someone touting a stock that they own without disclosing the fact.
It was certainly an understated part of the introduction and the documentation around the project. I appreciate your legwork. There is a FAQ on their site that talks a little about their financial interest. I assumed Lars was a RS employee, but I guess I'm not too surprised that he's an outside 'new media' consultant. Doubtful that many environmental companies can retain new media expertise on full time staff.

If a lobby for saving the dam organizes, we may give them equal time, but in this case I suspect we've heard from everybody we're likely to hear from.
 

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The dam should be removed not matter what this guys interests are.....the neuse, and dan do not have as much water in them as historically. this has nothing to do with these small dams it has more to do with more water taken out than put back in and other factors.....that said 15 miles is not alot gained but is better than 0 .

Shad, hickories and americans make it up to milburnie but most stop well below milburnie and spawn...one of the biggest places is in johnston co and if u do enough researching u can find it ....i am not convinced many more will make it past milburnie as since quaker neck dam was removed the majority of these still spawn above where quaker neck was but well below milburnie.(there is a research study done on this) if mb was removed it would provide better canoeing, possibly habitat for roanoke bass to be reintroduced there(historically roanokes were common in that part of the neuse and crabtree creek!) and some shad and stripers will go farther up, but like i said most still spawn well below milburnie..

I thinks everyones efforts should be more concerned and want the removal of the 3 locks on the cape. that would open up hundreds of miles of spawning habitat in the main stem and tribs of the cape. that all being said if i had a vote in it i would say remove the MB dam, i just wish they would concentrate on something that would make a bigger impact . Mack

added. w/o digging into my articles i think when they breached quaker neck dam it opened up 125 miles of spwaning habitat in the neuse and its tribs. 15 miles is a fraction of that. that is why i would rather see them concentrate on the cape fear and while i know they are installing a ladder on lock 1 I have never seen or read where lots of stripers use a fish ladder ladder. if u have ever been to a fish ladder the main fish that uses them are carp. shad do ok at best through a ladder but stripers I am afraid will never use one much.

also added...that statement from someone in th N&O about the neuse becoming a trickle is hog wash.....it would look in some places like it does around poole rd and in otheres it would look like the fast rocky water below falls dam. a river goes from slow deep spots to fast riffle areas and thats what would be there.....that is just someone who doesn t know anything. mack
 

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I fish it all the time. look at my blog and it is one of the rivers i fish the most. removing the dam will not change the amount of water coming into that millpond or leaving it. sure it will be shallowerer, but rivers arnet supposed to be as deep as millponds. it will not be a trickle. i gues what it boils down to is does the majority want an old millpond or a free flowing river. I fish rivers 90 percent tof the time and I like old millponds but generally the fishing is better in the river above most millponds and below them. they are a few exceptions but for the most part they are not as good as the river itself. Mack
 
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