OLD TOWN, Maine (AP) - A 200-year-old dam on Maine's Penobscot River is being removed as part of a project aimed at eventually reopening nearly 1,000 miles of river habitat to Atlantic salmon, shad, herring and other migratory fish species.
In a ceremony before workers began breaching the Great Works Dam on Monday, Penobscot Indian Nation tribal elder Butch Phillips said the "ancestors are smiling today."
The $62 million project also calls for removing a dam in Veazie and building fish passages at two other dams. In exchange for selling the dams to the Penobscot River Trust, the dams' owner was allowed to increase electricity production at its other dams.
If all goes as planned, Great Works Dam in Old Town will be removed by November and the entire project will be completed in 2014.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)