FISH PASSAGE ON THE BRONX RIVER: A VISION OF THE BRONX RIVER ECOLOGICAL AND RESTORATION MANAGEMENT PLAN

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1 FISH PASSAGE ON THE BRONX RIVER: A VISION OF THE BRONX RIVER ECOLOGICAL AND RESTORATION MANAGEMENT PLAN THE SNUFF MILL DAM, BRONX ZOO DAM & 182 ND STREET DAM NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN & BRONX ZOO BRONX BOROUGH NEW YORK, NY Tuesday, November 16, 2010 Restore America s Estuaries 5 th National Conference On Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration Galveston Island, Texas 99 Realty Drive Cheshire, Connecticut (203) (t) / (203) 272=9733 (f)

2 WHERE ARE WE? Above: Microsoft Virtual Earth At right: Bronx River Alliance

3 HOW DID THIS COME ABOUT? The Bronx River Ecological Restoration and Management Plan published in 2006 cited the development of fish passage as a primary recommendation. The vision was supported by U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano (D) who represents New York s 16 th Congressional District. The goal of the initiative is to bring about fish stocking efforts and install fish passageways at the three dams to re-establish marine and freshwater system connectivity while also bringing about aesthetic improvements. Target species include alewife herring, blueback herring, American shad, Atlantic salmon and American eel. NYC Parks introduced approximately 200 alewife herring in close proximity to the 182 nd Street Dam in More alewife herring were introduced in Funding for fish passage work has been primarily granted through NOAA. Above: Photo courtesy of Anthony Archino, Rocking the Boat

4 HISTORY OF THE BRONX RIVER WATERSHED Prior to development, it was covered by forests, meadows, marshes and swamps, with streams and large rivers, ponds and a rich ecosystem. The Bronx River itself was a naturally meandering river. Today, the watershed is vastly developed with low-, moderate- and high-density housing, strip malls, offices, industry and many other impervious surface land cover. Additionally, golf courses and recreational facilities have altered the watershed s historical landscape. Additionally, the three aforementioned dams have further added to the complexity of the watershed s degradation of water quality and hindrance to fish passage. Source: Westchester County Department of Planning/ The Bronx River Watershed Coalition

5 DAM HISTORY Prior to anthropogenic dams, beaver dams and tree obstructions were spread throughout the 23 miles of river. Following the introduction of human-made dams in the 1600s, as many as four dams were located between the present 182 nd Street Dam and the Snuff Mill Dam in The 182 nd Street Dam was constructed in 1639, while the Snuff Mill and Bronx Zoo Dams were constructed in the early 1840s. Source: As recently as July 18, 2010, two teenagers drowned near the Bronx Zoo Dam.

6 HEC-RAS MODELING Source: NYC Department of Parks & Recreation Source: NYC Department of Parks & Recreation Locations were surveyed and used in HEC-RAS hydraulic modeling for the design phase.

7 Additional Investigations SNUFF MILL DAM BRONX ZOO DOUBLE DAM 182 ND STREET DAM

8 SNUFF MILL DAM A National Historic Landmark Bedrock gorge and abutments Access to the east bank only Shallow/low gradient upstream pool with a downstream plunge pool A historic timber dam was found approximately 20 upstream of the existing stone masonry structure

9 SNUFF MILL DAM CURRENT DESIGN: 50%

10 BRONX ZOO DOUBLE DAM The middle impoundment structures Two 60 long spillways Naturalistic setting near the Bison Range Fish attraction issue

11 BRONX ZOO DOUBLE DAM: 50%

12 182 ND STREET DAM

13 182 ND STREET DAM: 90%

14 WHERE IS THE PROJECT NOW? Design of a canoe passage, fish ladder and fish counter is currently going to final design. The other dams have not moved forward in design since Further design work and/or construction depends on funding.

15 Thank You Presenter: Shawn M. Goulet Environmental Scientist 99 Realty Drive Cheshire, Connecticut (203) Fax (203) Those Involved:

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