Goodbye Dams, Hello South Carolina Whitewater
Newspapers reported this week that the removal of a dam on South Carolina's Twelvemile Creek will begin by the end of this month. The dam will be the first of two dams on the creek slated for removal in 2011. The fate of a third dam remains uncertain. The dam removals were triggered by the presence of PCB laden sediments trapped by the dams, which are currently being dredged as a precursor to dam removal.
Foothills Paddlers representative and American Whitewater Regional Coordinator Kevin Miller has spent several years investigating the likely recreational value of a restored Twelvemile Creek, and sharing the results of those investigations with decision makers and the paddling community.
Removal of the dams will almost certainly uncover bedrock and boulder rapids similar to those found immediately up and downstream of the reservoirs - or possibly better. The gradient, rock structure, flow, and proximity to poulation centers all suggest that Twelvemile Creek could become a new paddling staple in the upstate of South Carolina. Over the course of 2011 these sections of the creek, last seen in the late1800's, will be revealed.
As with any dam removal, paddling near the demolition site is not recommended until after removal activities are fully completed.
We would like to thank Kevin Miller and the many others who worked to bring this exciting river restoration initiative to fruition. Congratulations to all!
Read a newspaper article here.