This layer scores potential sites for dam removal by the relative improvement in local aquatic connectedness (component of ecological integrity; defined in connectivity documentation). It takes into account the Index of Ecological Integrity (IEI) scores for the surrounding cells, so that dam removals that improve connectedness in areas with high ecological integrity score higher than those in areas with low ecological integrity. As with other model-based assessments, field survey of potential dam removal sites should precede any implementation. This tool is not designed to quantify benefits to anadromous fish from dam removal; users interested in tools that address anadromous fish may wish to investigate other products such as the Northeast Aquatic Connectivity Project led by The Nature Conservancy along with Northeast state fish and wildlife agencies. In addition, dam removal scores did not take into account socioeconomic considerations, such as impoundments for drinking water, flood control, etc., which would ultimately have to be considered before undertaking any restoration action.
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Read the Technical Abstract for this data layer (dams.shp).