FARMINGTON — Western Maine Audubon’s final talk of the fall season will be by a Nature Conservancy staff member experienced with small dam removal projects in the state.

Jeremy M. Bell, River and Coastal Restoration Program director for the Nature Conservancy in Maine, will discuss “The Ecology of Dam Removal” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the North Dining Hall at the University of Maine at Farmington. It is free and open to the public.

“Conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends” is the mission statement of the Nature Conservancy. They have been closely involved with dam removal projects across the state.

Small dam removal has been controversial, and consideration of removal of the Week’s Mills dam in West Farmington is no exception. The Atlantic Salmon Foundation would like to remove the dam to aid the repopulation of Atlantic salmon to the stream waters above the dam.

The pros and cons of such a project will be examined through a look at similar projects that have taken place in other parts of the state. The talk will center on the ecologic changes expected with dam removal so that residents can be better informed about the project proposed for our area.

Bell has more than 17 years of experience as a restoration ecologist and project manager and is the strategy lead for river and coastal restoration for the conservancy. Bell has helped secure over $14 million in federal grant funds and has successfully implemented more than two dozen projects in Washington state, Massachusetts and Maine. In 2013 he received a Gulf of Maine Council Visionary Award for his work in restoring coastal wetlands in Massachusetts.

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