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Pine Tree Brook will have dams removed

| May 1, 2014

By Tom Pilla / Milton Times

Milton, MA – A section of Pine Tree Brook, a tributary of the Neponset River in the Blue Hills that runs within the limits of Milton along Harland Street down toward Ulin Rink, has been selected by the Neponset River Watershed Association (NepRWA) as a pilot site for its small dam removal program.

Two small dams will be removed, and a small part of the Harland Street dam, which is a larger structure used for flood protection, will be slightly modified. The purpose of the dam removal is to restore the natural flow of the river, thus narrowing the channel, allowing fish to travel farther up and down, and to improve the quality of the water for the fish and other species living in it.

The pilot sites – the other is in Mill Brook in Westwood – will serve as a testing ground for evaluation before a more widespread dam removal process is undertaken. There are an estimated 114 small dams in the watershed, most of which have become obsolete and are not maintained.

“We are just in the conceptual stage now,” said NepRWA Executive Director Ian Cooke. “We haven’t even submitted any permit applications yet.” The permitting process, said Cooke, can take many months to years, so actual removal is a long way off.

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