The removal of a dam along the Green River in Edmonson County began Tuesday, and will continue over the next few weeks.
Once the dam is removed, the affected part of the Green River will become a recreational area, with parking and access ramps for canoes and kayaks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is funding the project, but will transfer ownership of 18 nearby acres of land to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Lee Andrews, with The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the Green River contains some of the top biodiversity within the Ohio River system.
“So being able to restore this much river in a national park is unique,” Andrews said.
Andrews said he hopes restoring the natural flow of the river will help endangered aquatic life in the area. David Phemister, Kentucky State Director at The Nature Conservancy, said the removal of the dam in Edmonson County will have several benefits for the region.
“It’s a win for public safety, it’s a win for outdoor recreation and the economics and the local communities, and it’s a win for the health of the river,” Phemister said.
The $880,000 project is one of three dams approved for removal by Congress late last year. Green River Dam Five and Barren River Dam One will be also be deconstructed, but those projects have not been scheduled.