Maryland’s Board of Public Works has granted approval for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to move forward with the Bloede Dam removal project.
The department and its partners have been working for several years on a comprehensive, cost-effective plan to remove the public safety hazard and fish obstruction on the Patapsco River in Patapsco Valley State Park.
The approval authorizes procurement authority to the department, as well as the transferring of funds to the department for dam removal, and $1 million in general-obligation bonds to fund an agreement with American Rivers for construction management.
The removal of the dam is the culmination of a thorough public input period. American Rivers has finished preparing the construction documents and permits, which remain pending. The initial phase of work is expected to begin this summer, with the entire project slated for completion in late 2017.
The Department of Natural Resources proposes to use general-obligation bond proceeds and grant awards from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Maryland Port Administration to fund 17.5 percent of the construction costs.
American Rivers will cover the remaining construction costs using grants secured from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and private individuals.
American Rivers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to, and experienced in, river enhancement and restoration projects, which has helped remove more than 200 dams across the country, including the Simkins Dam, which was located just upstream from Bloede Dam on the Patapsco River.
The Patapsco River once supported large runs of shad, herring and American eels, but the dam blocked these historic migrations. Fish ladders constructed in the 1990s have been ineffective.