November Hammonasset Chapter Meeting Presentation
Kevin Zak is President of the Naugatuck River Revival Group (NRRG). He is a member of the Waterbury Greenway Advisory Committee and the Naugatuck River Greenway Committee. The NRRG is a 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to cleaning and documenting the Naugatuck River. The NRRG has received several volunteer awards and creates documentaries about the river and homelessness.
Kinneytown: The Dam of Death.
By Kevin Zak
This is the first public presentation to explore this dam, the world it affects and the laws and bureaucracy that allows it to exist. It will take you under and over the water from the East and West Branch in Torrington to Derby where it enters the Housatonic.
Few know Kinneytown exists and often confuse it with its cousin the Tingue Dam and its new $6.4 million dollar Bypass. Why does Kinneytown fly under the radar?
Spanning over 400 feet across the Naugatuck River in Seymour it lies about 1mile south of the new Tingue Dam Bypass. It was built in 1844 by Raymond French from Seymour. The dam was breached during the 1955 Flood. A fish ladder was built in 1999.
There is much evidence that the Dam needs to be inspected and shown that the fish ladder simply does not work. This is the most important piece remaining and blocking the restoration of the river. In 2011 DEEP recorded just one American shad and zero Alewife passed through the Kinneytown dam for the entire year. This spring 59 American shad and 20 alewives passed through the Kinneytown Fishway passage. Are fish rescue’s taking place at the dam without public knowledge?
In the last inspection of Kinneytown by the Army Corps in the 1980’s it was determined to be in “Fair” condition and rated a "Class C Significant Hazard". It was determined at that time that Kinneytown needed further inspection and repair. FERC does not see it as a hazard at all. Why and what does that mean in 2015?
The public excitement and awareness of the existing and potential benefits of the Naugatuck River and the original Naugatuck River Basin Anadromous Fish Restoration Program can and will lead us to open the door to what can be. Now that the Tingue Dam Bypass has been built it is time to unlock the Kinneytown puzzle and shed a light on the harm it does to an entire ecosystem and quality of life along, under and over the largest In-state river.
The Naugatuck River Revival Group has begun a five year project to put together and understand the mechanism's that will lead to the next positive ecological change in the Naugatuck River Basin: Change what exists at Kinneytown.