2016-04-08 / Letters

Remove dams and return Mousam River to natural state

To the editor:

Regarding the proposed removal of the Mousam dams, I would like to offer yet another perspective. When we were looking for homes in Kennebunk, we hoped to find one along the river but they were out of our price range. We are amazed to hear that homeowners think their properties will be devalued by the proposed dam removal. There is no question in my mind that properties will retain or increase in value. If the dams are removed, I’d be very interested if someone wants to sell their riverfront home for a song; the opportunity to watch the released, riverine ecology transform before my eyes would be supremely fascinating.

With the removal of dams, the water will settle into a natural meandering channel, exposing more floodplain. On that newly exposed land, air and waterborne seeds and plant fragments will root, slowly establishing diverse populations of sedges, rushes and grasses.

An abundance of ferns and the magnificent scarlet cardinal-flower will take hold and proliferate. Springtime will reveal yellow trout lilies on higher ground and we’ll find lavender-flowered pickerelweed in the shallows.

Soon, alders, willows and red maples will grow, further stabilizing the Mousam’s banks during natural spring floods.

Natural succession will increase the diversity of insects, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and songbirds. A dam-less Mousam will progress through many stages, a beautiful, evolving wonder. I am jealous of the folks with river frontage.

We have a chance to make a real difference here. One small piece of the world returned to a natural state.

I would love to do that with the hundreds of thousands of square miles of impervious asphalt laid on rolling fields for parking lots – but I can’t. Fortunately, we can all advocate for the removal of the dams on our cherished Mousam and actually see that happen. Imagine that.

Susan A. Bloomfield
West Kennebunk

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