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Talk – Damming Decisions
September 11 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm| Free
Damming Decisions: Searching for sustainable solutions in New England rivers
Speaker: Sam Roy, Postdoctoral Researcher, Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions and New England Sustainability Consortium
Sam will talk about work he and his colleagues have done to explore how decisions to remove, keep, or modify dams in New England can initiate trade offs between combinations of ecosystem services that are valued by stakeholders, such as sea-run fish habitat, recreation, drinking water storage, and hydropower generation. Preliminary model results show that there is potential to improve the value of these river-based ecosystem services by coordinating multiple dam decisions over entire river basins. For example, it is possible to significantly increase the amount of sea-run fish habitat while minimizing dam removals, and though hydropower capacity is negatively impacted by removals, there are potential opportunities to meet or exceed lost capacity by upgrading preserved hydropower dams in locations with less valuable habitat.
Sam Roy earned his PhD in 2015 from the School of Earth and Climate Sciences at the University of Maine studying the dynamic connections between climate, erosion, and tectonics. He joined the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions and the New England Sustainability Consortium part-time in 2015 to collaborate on the Safe Beaches and Shellfish project, and in 2016 became a postdoctoral researcher on the Future of Dams project.