2024 Webinar: Facilitating Low-Head Dam Removals and Improving Aquatic Resource Restoration Outcomes

When:  Jul 9, 2024 from 12:00 to 14:00 (ET)
Speaker(s): Jeffrey Hartranft, PA Department of Environmental Protection, Environmental Group Manager; Josh Fair, PA Department of Environmental Protection, Water Program Specialist

PDH's: This webinar is eligible for 2 PDH credits.

Many low-head dams no longer serve their original purpose and their existence often poses a public safety risk and continues to have negative impacts on aquatic resources. This webinar will focus on effective strategies for low head dam removal and aquatic resource restoration in Pennsylvania over the last two decades, which may also facilitate dam removals in other states. Topics will include applied principles of aquatic ecosystem restoration and technical aspects of restoration planning, design, and implementation for low head dam removals. More in-depth topics on recent regulatory program adaptations and interpretations for current and future low head dam removal and aquatic resource restoration efforts will be presented. Case studies will present low head dam removal monitoring results and recent scientific and technical advances that are being applied to current aquatic resource restoration efforts. Technical aspects that apply to geologic, engineering, environmental, hydrologic, geomorphic, and many aquatic resource restoration disciplines, particularly stream and wetland-focused disciplines, will be included. Lastly, funding opportunities will be discussed with an emphasis on regulatory compliance through mitigation banking, in-lieu fee, and water quality obligations. 

Key Takeaways: 
Understand Pennsylvania’s regulatory authorities and interpretations that have facilitated dam removals and that may be useful to apply in other state and federal regulatory programs. 
Learn about effective regulatory processes to engage stakeholders and aid in dam removal efforts.
Discuss technical planning, design, and implementation for improved aquatic resource restoration outcomes, particularly natural aquatic ecosystem forms and processes for streams and wetlands.  
Learn how to identify and address degradation through an analysis of watershed and site histories.  
Understand natural restoration targets at dam removals for multiple aquatic ecosystem components, including integrated stream and wetland complexes within the floodplain.
Learn about funding sources and support for dam removals, including mitigation banking, in-lieu fee programs, and water quality obligations.