Batavia Dam removal restores East Fork to natural state

After more than eight years of planning, the Valley View Foundation, Clermont SWCD and other project partners have removed a 90 year old low-head dam on the East Fork Little Miami River, restoring its natural system and opening up a free-flowing waterway from Harsha Lake Dam to its confluence on the Little Miami River just south of Milford.

Public safety and stream restoration were the primary goals for this project. Many communities across Ohio are opting to remove defunct low-head dams. To date, over 65 low-head dams in Ohio have been eliminated. Funding for the Batavia project was provided by Ohio EPA’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also contributed funds to improve river habitat, specifically for fish and endangered mussel species. Removal of the dam provides immediate habitat improvements and over time, the diversity of fish and mussel species will also improve.

This project also required the relocation of fresh- water mussels within the project area. With the removal of Williamsburg Dam last year, this was the last remaining low-head dam on the main stem of the East Fork Little Miami River. Canoeists, kayakers and others can now enjoy a free-flowing river from the tailwaters of East Fork Lake the confluence with the Little Miami River near Milford.