Hundreds of dams built on tributaries of the Hudson River estuary currently hold substantial volumes of sediment and have altered the way that sediment moves through the system. Natural resource managers are now interested in removing some of these dams to improve connectivity of aquatic habitats, restore fish spawning habitat, and reduce risks of dam failure. A high-priority management need of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve is to improve the scientific understanding of potential impacts that dam removals have on sediment transport in the estuary and deposition in downstream tidal wetlands, including how these dam-derived sediments might help offset future sea level rise impacts.
A 2016 Collaborative Research project is addressing needs identified by managers and regulators by assessing the immediate impacts of sediment that is released when a dam is removed, as well as the longer-term implications. This factsheet describes the project approach, anticipated benefits, anticipated products, and targeted end users.