2016-04-01 / Letters

Plenty of support for Mousam River dam removal

To the editor:

There has been a great deal of misinformation in recent letters to the editor by people in favor of keeping the three dams on the Mousam River. A few people are trying to portray those of us who are in favor of dam removal as a bunch of people from away who are a part of some conspiracy to destroy the river and this beautiful town we all live in.

Nothing could be further from the truth. All you have to do is go to the Kennebunk Light and Power website and look at the written comments submitted to the utility in favor of dam removal. You will quickly see that the majority of comments in favor of dam removal are from residents of Kennebunk. You will recognize the names of your friends and neighbors, people who live on the river, people who own property on the river. People like me who care a great deal about the health and beauty of the Mousam.

I have lived in Kennebunk for well over 30 years. My children were both born and raised here, a short walk from the river. When my kids were young we would gaze over the bridge on Route 1 in the spring to marvel at the elvers, shad and alewives trapped below the dam. I fish on the Mousam, I swim in it, canoe on it and have even skated on it. And I’m proud to be a member of the Mousam and Kennebunk River Alliance along with many other residents of this town. I’m also glad we can draw on the scientific resources and support of organizations like Maine Rivers, the Maine Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and the Sebago Chapter of Trout Unlimited who help us in our efforts to protect and restore the Mousam and Kennebunk rivers.

The environment around us has been degraded substantially by the impact of civilization and our way of life. Gone are many species and habitats. Groundfisheries in the Gulf of Maine have been decimated. We all know this. I have fished the Mousam many times from Sanford to the sea and have caught nothing above the dams except pond dwelling fish such as pickerel, bass, blue gills, perch, and even black crappie (an invasive species in Maine).

I understand how people have grown accustomed to this dammed up river but it could be something much more beautiful and productive.

A recent letter writer to the Post told a story lamenting the possible loss of the booming roar of water flowing over the dam at Route 1. I would not miss that sound because I know it would be replaced by the roar of rapids, the music of flowing water and the thrill of seeing returning fish swimming against the flow.

The relicensing of these dams and the economics in favor of dam removal has given us a golden opportunity to do something really amazing and beneficial for our environment. We have the chance to restore a large section of an important river habitat and to reconnect it to the Gulf of Maine. It’s a chance to do something positive for the environment and for generations to come.

Kevin Flynn

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