Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"Dam Nation" Film Showing Friday

The Princeton Environmental Film Festival, scheduled this year for March 19-29, has other film showings scattered through the year. One is coming up this Friday at 7pm, with a showing of "Dam Nation" at the Princeton Public Library, followed by a talk by StonyBrook-Millstone Watershed Association staff. They've been trying to get a couple small dams removed along the Millstone River, which the StonyBrook merges with at Carnegie Lake. The Millstone flows towards the ocean, past Kingston and Princeton's wastewater treatment plant, then merges with the Raritan River 20 miles further downstream, just before contributing water to the treatment plant from which Princeton's drinking water comes. This is a working river, serving us in so many ways, but it also has some nice scenic stretches, almost all of which can also be accessed by riding a bike along the canal towpath.

Removing dams allows migratory fish like shad and eels to get where they need to go. One question I'd have is, if the lower dams are removed, how do the fish get over the Carnegie Lake dam? You can get to know the mighty Millstone a bit in a post about a fun kayak trip we took down the river four years ago--our journey to the source of Princeton's drinking water.


  1. Hey Stevie,
    Reminds me of a story a workmate of mine once told. He once worked as an inspector in the Dam Safety program here in NC. Dams of a certain size were required to be permitted for public safety reasons. Each one was identified by its location or its owner. There was one on the property of a rural Pentecostal church…the Holt’s Pond Church of God, which in the Dam Safety program was referenced as the Holt’s Pond Church of God Dam! Despite being the God-fearing man he was, he nonetheless thought that was a hoot.
    Your buddy,

  2. Cindy Carlin1/28/2015 4:32 PM

    I read your older post about kayaking. Where would you suggest we pick up the towpath if we wanted to walk the area you described? By the way, I really enjoys your posts.

    1. Cindy, your question led me to try taking the journey down the Millstone via google maps. It's like taking a helicopter ride down the watershed, without the carbon footprint. I access google maps from my gmail. Type in Manville, NJ as a destination from Princeton, and you'll see the path of the Millstone down to where it connects with the Raritan. If you zoom in and click on the satellite box in the lower left, you'll get an aerial map, and can then drag the map right to left, tracking the Millstone River/DR Canal duo as they flow down to where the water plant is, next to the river where it passes by Manville. If you take Canal Road downstream, there are various pulloffs along the way if you want to walk along the canal on the towpath. There's a nice prairie preserve and llama ranch partway down on the right, and the East Millstone Antiques and Cafe is a nice place to stop. It looks like 549 Weston Canal Road is directly across from a pullover next to the confluence of the Raritan and Millstone Rivers, where there's a dam and also some paths down to where the water plant is.

    2. Cindy Carlin2/06/2015 11:30 AM

      Thanks--now I have a new destination to look forward to once the ice melts (and the cast is off my wrist!)