Adam Riggsbee and I went to the Cape Fear Lock and Dam Forum at Cape Fear River Watch last night in Wilmington. Frank Yelverton, Army Corps of Engineers spoke; along with Mike Wicker, US Fish and Wildlife; and Mary Ann Hinshaw, City of Wilmington.
It was well attended and informative. Frank Yelverton does a good job of humanizing and explaining the highly bureaucratic process of selecting and recommending a course and fate, among many alternatives, for the lock and dams. These options range from complete removal to a variety of engineered fish passage solutions. The Corps said they will most likely present a preferred alternative for public review and comment in January 2007.
Restoration Systems would like to see (and do!) as much removal and fish passage as possible while protecting or retro-fitting existing water supply intakes. But one thing is certain: water supply is a crtitical concern. In the case of Lock and Dam #1, the fish gotta work around it — literally.
I took a pic here with Mike Wicker speaking– Adam Riggsbee from behind wearing the RS shirt — and the back of Roger Sheats head. Roger was a former Assistant Secretary of NCDOT and largely responsible for the formation of the NC Ecosystem Enhancement Program. It was good to see Roger and hear he is doing well. One of his new hats is Executive Director of the Cape Fear River Assembly, where he is working on a collaborative solution to the Lock and Dam situation. I can’t think of anyone better for the job.