The Massachusetts Environmental Trust will be providing Andover with the $50,000 needed to finish the permitting and engineering costs for removal of the Balmoral and Marland Place dams.
The grant was one out of nearly $500,000 in grants from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust.
“The Massachusetts Environmental Trust has, for more than two decades, been leading the charge in conservation efforts to protect the vital waterways of Massachusetts,” said Rick Sullivan, Secretary Energy and Environmental Affairs. “These projects are made possible by the collaborative efforts of communities and conservation partners, working together with the Commonwealth to maintain and protect our clean waters for generations to come.”
In general, the removal of a dam will always positively impact the environment and ecology in and around a river in a variety of ways, as well as address public safety concerns.
Specifically, the removal of these dams would allow for sediment transport throughout the river and would restore the river with a more natural hydrology, or the way the water flows through the ground.
Moreover, the Shawsheen River is a tributary of the Merrimack and removing the dams would restore migratory fish habitat.
In addition to the environmental benefits, state officials said that removing the dams professionally will eliminate the chance of an unplanned breach, making the area safer in general.