The Future of the Conowingo Dam | WYPR

The Future of the Conowingo Dam

May 19, 2016

The Conowingo Dam
Credit Matt Tillett/Flickr via Creative Commons

The Conowingo Dam supplies enough clean energy every day to power 160,000 homes and businesses. But this dam and others have greatly altered the Susquehanna River. Legend has it you could once walk across the river entirely on the backs of migrating shad. Last year, around 8,000 shad made it past the dam, a record low. Only 43 made it all the way to their spawning grounds. Plus, millions of tons of polluted sediment have built up in the reservoir behind the dam. It is now at capacity. Meanwhile, for the first time since 1980, the Conowingo is up for relicensing. Could this be a watershed moment?

Our guests:  

Karl Blankenship, editor of The Bay Journal

Colleen Hicks, Regulatory and Licensing Manager at Exelon Power, which owns and operates the Conowingo Dam

Tara Moberg, freshwater scientist at The Nature Conservancy and board member of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute