By Nick Bower
The Ramapo River has been in the local news lately, partly for the flooding it causes to towns such as Pequannock, Pompton Lakes, and Wayne, as well as two dams on the river. The Pompton Dam and Pequannock Dam, built in the 1920’s, are the reason for the excessive flooding in parts of the three townships, many residents of the area believe.
The NJ Department of Environmental Protection, (DEP) estimated that the extraction of the pair of dams, located on the convergence of the Ramapo and Pequannock rivers, would cost $1.25 million. On further examination, the agency concluded that closing the dams would not have that much of an effect on flooding from a major flood.
State environmental officials had approved the idea two years ago, but cancelled the plan to close the dams in February.
“We are certainly disappointed that the DEP is not moving forward with removal of the feeder dams,” Wayne Mayor Chris Vergano told northjersey.com. “We believe the removal of the feeder dams would certainly benefit the Riverview community of our township during a flooding event. Our residents have suffered enough.”
The Ramapo River is roughly 30 miles long. It begins in Orange County in the southern part of New York and flows into northern New Jersey where it widens into Pompton Lake, then meets with the Pequannock River to form the Pompton River. It is a popular destination for fly fishing and trout.
In Mawah, New Jersey, the town council in January unveiled their annual Master Plan for 2013 which calls for the addition of more open space. The town officials hope to establish greenbelts throughout the community and one of the plans calls for pedestrian trails to be constructed along the Ramapo River.