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Protecting a Silent Protector

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Published on Jul 24, 2013

This is an overview of a project to upgrade the George H. Nichols Dam in Westborough, Massachusetts. Financial and technical assistance for the project are provided through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Upgrades are proposed for six flood-control dams in the Sudbury-Assabet-Concord (SuAsCo) rivers watershed. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) owns, operates and maintains the dams. Built between 1962 and 1987 by USDA and DCR, these "silent protectors" provide $1.7 million in annual flood protection to the 36 towns in the SuAsCo watershed. Although the dams are still sound, today's increased land development generates higher amounts of storm runoff than the dams were designed to handle. Upgrading the dams will also maintain wetland and wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation. One upgrade project is already completed at the George H. Nichols Dam in Westborough.

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