American Whitewater, along with other paddling groups and outfitters, filed comments with FERC
responding to the Whitewater Boating Evaluation at Turners Falls on the Connecticut River. The
study showed that there is strong demand for boating on this section of the Connecticut River if
sufficient flows, scheduled releases, better access, and real-time information are provided. The
groups filed the comments in order to provide additional information for the environmental review
and to respond to the unsupported statements by FirstLight, the utility performing the study,
claiming that there is little demand for boating at Turners Falls.
FirstLight is seeking a new license to continue generating power from the waters of the
Connecticut River in Massachusetts. The hydropower project at Turners Falls has a negative impact
on aquatic habitat and eliminates recreation opportunities below the dam, largely dewatering
nearly 3 river miles. FERC required FirstLight to study the impact of the project on whitewater
boating opportunity. Over the course of three days in 2014, 45 kayakers, canoeists, rafters, and
paddleboarders evaluated flows in the natural river channel ranging from 2500-13,000 cfs.
American Whitewater, New England Flow, Appalachian Mountain Club, Zoar Outdoor, and Crab Apple
Whitewater filed comments with FERC supporting the restoration of whitewater boating flows on the
Connecticut River at Turners Falls.