ARUNDEL — In the midst of an environmental movement to remove dams across the state, the Planning Board is looking at a proposal to remove the dam on Goff’s Mill brook, located on the border of Arundel and Kennebunkport.

According to documents submitted in the application, the mill in question was constructed in 1969 by the father of the current property owner, Mary Castner, and approved by the Arundel Planning Board at that time, though older structures may have existed in the same location in the past.

The application to remove the dam was done by the Wells National Estuarine Reserve, with project manager Jacob Aman listed as the applicant.

Environmental groups have been focused in recent years on the impact of dams that fragment ecosystems. One of the biggest present initiatives in the Kennebunks is an effort, conducted by the Mousam and Kennebunk Rivers Alliance, to remove three dams owned by the Kennebunk Light and Power District along the Mousam River.

Goff Mill brook is a roughly 7-mile long tributary of the Kennebunk river that is largely forested and rural until it converges with the Kennebunk river near the Cape Arundel Golf Course. The brook is listed as a head of tide dam, which means it is still affected by tidal action and contains saltwater.

Aman, at a July 4 Planning Board meeting, said that not much of the roughly 25-foot structure would need to be removed in order for it to restore the fragmented habitat.

“The primary part of the structure that would be removed is below the high water line within the boundary of the brook or on (Mary) Castner’s side,” Aman said at a July 4 Planning Board meeting. “And to effectively remove the barrier, we probably wouldn’t need to touch anything that ”¦ extends beyond the high water line,”

Aman added that the size of the structure was relatively small-scale, in terms of other dam removal and fish passage projects in Maine.

“I think this is a pretty small impoundment ”“ much smaller than Salmon Falls,” Aman said

Planning Board member John der Kinderen, at the board’s July 9 meeting, said that the application had improved from when it was first presented and “satisified everything” ”“ save a thorough accounting of the effect of the sediment on the estuary, which could be submitted later.

“I’m happy with this application,” der Kinderen said. The Planning Board later deemded the application complete.

Aman responded to one question by Planning Board member Martin Cain III, who asked if the dam removal would impact the vegetation in the area.

“The slope of the banks is relatively steep ”¦ theres not a lot of vegetation along that area, all is outside the banks. Since the salt is along the bottom, any flooding over the banks would be freshwater anyway,” Aman said response to Martin.

After a site walk on Thursday evening, the Planning board scheduled a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13 in the library of the Mildred L. Day School at 600 Limerick Road for abutters and residents to weigh in on the topic.



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