See below for resources, links, tips, and a video recording on dam removal funding. Webinar originally held January 10, 2024.
Learn about the best practices for working with stakeholders and gathering community support for dam removal from effective outreach, to involving stakeholders, to making compelling economic and public safety appeals.
3:45- Case Study #1: Samantha Woods, Executive Director, NSRWA
20:40- Case Study #2: Becky Malamut, River Restoration Coordinator, NSRWA
28:41- Case Study #3: Alex Mansfield, Watershed Ecologist NSRWA and MassBays South Shore Regional Coordinator
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Tips for Successful Community Engagement
Meetings, meetings, meetings! Be prepared to meet with abutters, Conservation Commissioners, private landowners, Selectmen, town staff, donors, and the public multiple times and on an ongoing basis.
Engage the public. Activities like herring counts or other fisheries monitoring, and water quality monitoring can help the people build a relationship to the river.
Send mailings to locals. Brochures with project information and visual images of restoration projects are helpful.
Use visuals. Show a film (ex-Let the Rivers Flow), before-and-after dam removal images, photo stories about successful dam removals.
Host Dam Tours
Utilize websites, Youtube videos, and social media as much as possible.
Determine what is important to each of the groups and meet them where they are - you cannot force anyone.
Determine which parties have the biggest and most vested interests in the project and meet directly with those individuals first to build relationships.
Listen! Listening yields good results for all involved.
Bring in experts to public meetings with the aim of educating everyone.
Case Study #1: Third Herring Brook Restoration
This case study looked at the Third Herring Brook (a tributary to the North River) Restoration Project that began in 2001. This presentation covered the community engagement and outreach including meeting with relevant parties, engaging the public in monitoring rivers, and showcasing dam removal success stories.
Case Study #2: Indian Head River Restoration
Becky Malamut, River Restoration Coordinator, NSRWA
This case study looked at two ongoing dam removal projects along the Indian Head River (a tributary to the North River). The presentation highlighted the value in educating early and often, creating relationships and trust and the value of a social media campaign.
Case Study #3: Wapping Road and Elm Street Dams
Alex Mansfield, Watershed Ecologist NSRWA and MassBays South Shore Regional Coordinator, NSRWA
This case study covered two dam removal projects along the Jones River in Kingston, MA. The projects outreach included meeting individually with many stakeholders and determining their motivations and interests and seeing where compromise can be reached.