Removal of the “Millie Turner Dam”

Millie Turner Dam during low water

Millie Turner Dam during high water


River restoration is underway on the beautiful Nissitissit River in Pepperell, MA. Home to endangered mussels and native brook trout, the river is considered some of the most viable habitat for rare species and natural communities in Massachusetts. Removal of the Turner Dam – the only intact dam on the Nissitissit River in Massachusetts – is expected to improve ecological conditions, eliminate a public safety hazard, reduce flooding risks, and enhance climate change resiliency of the local community. This work complements long-time local stewardship by the Squan-a-Tissit Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Nashua River Watershed Association, Nashoba Conservation Trust, and others within the watershed. The Dam removal is linked to land protection actions completed at the site. In 2010, 17 acers of land were purchased, bringing the total state riverfront protected area to 383 acers. Today, these lands are managed by MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) for fish and wildlife habitat, public access, and enjoyment.