Blogs > Ecology > Where a dam came down, the healing begins

Where a dam came down, the healing begins

Riverkeeper, Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance and volunteers planted 50 trees as part of ongoing efforts to restore a healthy stream and spawning habitat for river herring and eel.

On July 17, 2021, Riverkeeper joined the Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance and 20 volunteers to plant 50 trees along the Quassaick Creek and remove a significant amount of Japanese Knotweed as well. Despite high temperatures, the trees were planted and watered in record time.

Quassaick Creek Tree Planting

The restoration project followed the removal of the Strooks Felt Dam in October 2020. For more than 300 years, the dams at the location have blocked species like river herring and eel from migrating upstream in the Quassaick Creek to spawn.

Removing the dam restored over a mile of habitat for migratory species who rely on tributaries as critical spawning grounds. Planting trees along areas where dams have been removed can help stabilize the stream banks once the channel has been re-established.

Healing the scars

“Restoring the Quassaick Creek through dam removal and tree planting begins a long awaited healing process,” Riverkeeper Senior Habitat Restoration Manager George Jackman said. “After 300 years of industrial use of the creek, we are working to heal the scars and reconnect fragmented habitats. This past spring a wild trout was discovered moving upstream from the Hudson because the dam no longer blocked its path. That is the truest measure of success.”

Robin Meadows, Riverkeeper Interim Chief Administrative Officer, said, “My son and I attended the tree planting on Saturday and it was an amazing event. It was so great to see the Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance, Riverkeeper and a fantastic group of volunteers come together to help restore this area. Seeing folks so dedicated to their community and willing to give of their time and energy was inspiring. We can’t wait to do it again.”

“It was great for Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance to be part of this Riverkeeper project along the Quassaick,” said the alliance’s Ted Kohlmann. “The site was challenging but we had a good crew there which worked steadily until the plants were in and thereby started the final phase of restoring the area of the former dam. This is just a small part of the restoration effort of the Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance, and we look forward to similar opportunities in the future to work with Riverkeeper.”

Special thanks to our volunteers, partners, and Trout Unlimited Mid-Hudson chapter, for donating the trees.

To learn more about our dam removal and habitat restoration efforts and how to be involved, visit our web page. You can help restore habitat and heal the Hudson’s tributaries by becoming a Riverkeeper member or renewing your Riverkeeper membership with a gift of any amount.

Tell Gov. Hochul to block invasive species at the Erie and Champlain canals
Become a Member