On Election Day last November at the Camden Fire Station, I volunteered at a table along with other members of the “Save the Dam Falls Committee.” We were available to the voting public with half a dozen different handouts, explaining our reasons for saving the Montgomery Dam and Falls, including the need for immediate repairs.

Two large photographs, placed behind our table, illustrated both the incredible beauty of the falls and the recent lack of maintenance of the dam by the town. We asked Camden voters if they had any questions, if they would be willing to learn more, become more involved, and, most importantly if they would like to have their voices heard.

The response from a majority of Camden citizens was overwhelmingly positive and upbeat. Their enthusiastic expressions of support included such statements as: “Thanks for sticking with this!;” “We’re all with you!”; “We are totally on board!” and “Keep at it!”

But one unusual comment stood out in my mind. A woman walked quickly by our committee table and stated, “I believe in science!” I would have welcomed a conversation to explore and better connect with her concerns. If she meant the following: science helps us to understand and explain via observation, study, and testing, in order that knowledge gained is reliable and based on evidence, then we are in full agreement.

For the past year or so, “follow the science” was a mantra from the town in regard to their proposal to modify or remove Montgomery Dam. Unfortunately, for the town Select Board, the consultants in the Inter-Fluve Report concluded that the dams, among them the Megunticook Dam, do not threaten the health or safety of the Megunticook River. In fact, the environment surrounding the waterfalls is noticeably more vibrant with the greenery of plants and trees, which reduce erosion, and also provide an abundance of marine life and waterfowl.

In addition, reports also indicate that sea-run fish cannot possibly make it up the Megunticook River without an escalator, elevator, or a ladder! There is also no solid information that confirms alewives, in particular, have ever been up the Megunticook River. This is evidence that the town Select Board is attempting to avoid, even though they “believe in science.”

Our “Save the Dam Falls Committee” understands and supports how scientific research will determine how important it is to clean up our Megunticook River, and, at the same time, science will continue to inform us on how increasingly necessary the repair and maintenance of our Montgomery Dam is to our community’s overall well-being.

Meet you at the Falls!

Jennifer Healy,
Camden