Tales of the Undammed

Removing barriers doesn't automatically restore river health

By Edna Francisco, 15:50 PM April 15, 2008

An unusual explosion along the Rappahannock River on Feb. 23 defined the day for thousands of onlookers. As planned, at least 650 pounds of explosives blasted a 40-meter-long hole through the bottom of Embrey Dam near Fredericksburg, Va. Immediately, the water began to flow as it hadn't in about 150 years, since the predecessor to this 6.7-m-tall barrier was constructed. Local, state, and federal officials had determined that the dam, which no longer contributed to the local water supply, wa...

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