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Raritan River Dam Removal

Improving a contaminated waterway

biological assessment and brownfield redevelopment of the Raritan River Dam in New Jersey

Project Details

Great Ecology conducted a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) to assess the anticipated ecological and economic uplift following the removal of three dams from the Raritan River and its tributaries in New Jersey. The dams were removed as compensation for Natural Resource Damage (NRD) claims to surface waters elsewhere in the watershed. Great Ecology used biological surveys, GIS data and published economic valuation data to evaluate existing conditions in aquatic habitats along the river corridor, and referenced the outcomes of comparable dam removals to predict the ecological costs and benefits of the three dam removals. The CBA identified an expected benefit to diadromous fish species such as American shad (Alosa sapidissima) through the restoration of access to historic spawning areas, and additional benefits such as the flushing of sediments and improved conditions for microbial aquatic organisms. Future work includes field verification of the model predictions.

For more information, please view the official press release.


Biological Assessment, GIS Cartography & Analysis, Natural Resource Damages, River, Stream, and Riparian Restoration, Wetland Delineation & Permitting,


Large Industrial Client




Upper Raritan River Watershed, New Jersey


3 dams, 37 river miles