Stronger communities | Pond Lily Nature Preserve

This year’s severe storms underscore the power of nature and the vulnerability of our coasts. While nature can destroy, it can also defend. Supported by federal funding for Hurricane Sandy recovery, we’re working with partners to restore and strengthen natural systems that provide not only habitat for wildlife, but also protection against rising seas and storm surge. This is one in a series of stories highlighting results of our ongoing efforts to build a stronger coast.

For decades, New Haven’s Pond Lily Dam was a nuisance to the community, having long outlived its time as a part of an old mill. Sitting astride the West River, it contributed to flooding, blocked fish passage upstream, and threatened to one day break and cause devastation in the area.

Now, with the help of the Service and partners, that dam is gone, and the pond behind it has been replaced by a sprawling green nature preserve and a free-flowing river. This is the story of the team that got it done.