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Dam Busters 101


Topics include: 

Register for the Webinar Series

*By registering once, you will be automatically registered for the entire webinar series and do not need to register again.

Support Dam Busters!

Help us provide quality content about dam removal that everyone can access.

Mass Rivers Alliance, along with our partners, the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, and the Charles River Watershed Association, is pleased to present a series of monthly, lunchtime webinars on a variety of dam removal topics.


Each free one-hour webinar will feature:

  • an expert on a facet of dam removal

  • time for questions and discussion


The goal of the series is to give municipal and NGO dam removal project managers the knowledge they need to successfully manage and carry out a dam removal project. An in-person site-visit is planned at the end of the series in the fall of 2024.

Why Dam Busters?

"Whether you are contemplating removing your first dam, an advocate of dam removal, or just interested in the process, Dam Busters 101 is a great opportunity to learn all about it from subject matter experts. I signed up myself, in order to better understand the process." -Mike Yeomans, President, Greater Boston Trout Unlimited

"As a dam engineer who recently moved to Massachusetts from Atlanta, I am excited about the opportunity to get involved in local dam removal projects. The Dam Busters 101 training series is shaping up to be a fantastic way for me to connect with local dam removal champions and experts while learning more about the details of what it takes to complete a successful dam removal project." -Ann Houseman, Senior Principal Engineer

"Every dam removal project is different and we have a lot to learn from each other. The Dam Busters webinar series has something to offer even experienced project managers, and we are fortunate to have Mass Rivers and its partners share their knowledge so that we can all have a greater impact."-Becky Malamut, North South Rivers Watershed Association

See below for all of our slated webinars and access all the materials from the past webinars. Come learn with us!

Webinar 1

Introduction to Dam Removal

November 1, 2023 at 4:00:00 PM

This presentation introduces you to the Dam Busters webinar series, the dam removal process, and the role of the dam removal manager. We give a general overview of planning for dam removal, project scoping, dam removal engineering and design, working with groups of stakeholders, troubleshooting for issues like sediment and impoundments, cost assessment and feasibility, permitting, fundraising, and the benefits of river and habitat restoration such as restoring connectivity, improving water quality.

Webinar 3

Community Engagement

January 10, 2024 at 5:00:00 PM

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.

Webinar 5

Engineering & Design

March 6, 2024 at 5:00:00 PM

We’ll go over the many steps in the design process including preliminary designs, pre-removal assessments, removal of the dam itself, dam removal methods, and how to manage site and permit issues.

Webinar 7

Scoping the Project & Managing Consultants

May 1, 2024 at 4:00:00 PM

Learn about the importance of creating a proper scope of work and strong multidisciplinary team of consultants to help you manage the complexities of working in a riverine environment.

Webinar 9


July 10, 2024 at 4:00:00 PM

Dam removal can require multiple permits from various agencies. Learn about these different permits, how to work with their respective regulatory agencies, and how to plan time to navigate permitting processes.

Webinar 11


September 4, 2024 at 4:00:00 PM

We’ll talk about finding qualified contractors, working with municipal officials, preparing for unforeseen circumstances, infrastructure protection, and habitat construction.

Webinar 2

Funding a Dam Removal Project

December 6, 2023 at 5:00:00 PM

Explore financing options by learning about potential federal, state, local, and even private funding sources.

Webinar 4

Assessing Local Impacts

February 7, 2024 at 5:00:00 PM

Dam removal projects often go through permitting processes to be in compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and other processes to protect historic and cultural resources. Learn more about the process of addressing local impacts of dam removal projects and working with local stakeholders.

Webinar 6

Addressing Infrastructure

April 3, 2024 at 4:00:00 PM

Dam removal projects in more urbanized settings often come with additional challenges of other infrastructure in the vicinity of the project area. Dam removal projects in these cases often also improve or address conditions for other nearby infrastructure such as bridges, culverts, pipelines.

Webinar 8

Indigenous Approaches to Dam Removal & River Restoration

June 5, 2024 at 4:00:00 PM

Dams are physical manifestations of the legacy of colonialism in our rivers. Indigenous peoples are important stakeholders in the dam removal process. Learn more about indigenous perspectives surrounding dam removal projects and river restoration in the U.S.

Webinar 10

Managing Sediment

August 7, 2024 at 4:00:00 PM

This webinar will cover common sediment-related tasks including: assessing quality and quantity, identifying contaminants, downstream implications, and developing sediment management plans.

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