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Dr. Merritts observing a steep bank of sediment built up behind a milldam in MD
History of the Conestoga (Part II) Dammit!
Take a journey into the past of the Conestoga River and the consequences, both good and bad, of our many attempts to dam it. This presentation will explore more deeply the 18TH & 19TH century “improvements” made to the Conestoga during the attempts to establish mills, transportation, and power generating stations. The successes and failures also yielded unintended consequences both good and bad. The dams necessary for the mills and such resulted in lovely step-pools that were miles-long and available for a variety of recreational purposes. The dams also provided a stunning amount of flood control. But, these dams also trapped sediment, pollution, refuse, and debris. The impermanent construction and configuration doomed the dams from the beginning, exposing the negative side-effects long after the positive ones vanished. This has resulted in decade after decade of conservation and awareness efforts by various groups. Presenter Ben Webber serves Lancaster Township as its municipal engineer. He grew up and resides in Manheim Township along the Conestoga River. As a civil engineer for more than 35 years, he has always been fascinated with water. A few years ago, he asked the unfortunate question “Where does the name Bridgeport come from?” His thirst for local history has been unquenched ever since. This Lancaster Water Week Event is Co-Hosted by LancaterHistory! What is Lancaster Water Week? Leading the way to clean water by protecting over 7,000 acres of wild lands, the Lancaster Conservancy created Lancaster Water Week to connect us all to clean water. We need clean water to fish, swim and drink, but over half of Lancaster’s 1,400 miles of streams and rivers are polluted. The good news? We can solve this problem together! Lancaster Water Week returns for its 5th year with over 20 events that CELEBRATE our unique waterways and EDUCATE our community to TAKE ACTION for cleaner streams and rivers! Learn more: www.lancasterwaterweek.org
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