Penobscot River Restoration Project COMMUNITY EVENT

Daylong Celebration of Revitalized Penobscot River Monday.
Great Works Dam Removal to Commence with Community Celebration.

OLD TOWN, Maine | June 05, 2012

Join a day of celebration and witness history in the making on Monday, June 11, as removal of the 1,000 foot long, 200-year-old Great Works Dam from Maine’s Penobscot River begins. This is a major step toward letting the river flow freely from Old Town to the Gulf of Maine for the first time in generations.

This huge and dramatic event is the result of a unique, creative and productive collaboration – begun 13 years ago — between the hydropower developer, the Penobscot Nation, state and federal officials and conservation groups. When the Penobscot River Restoration Project is completed, energy production will remain at least the same, and likely increase, while Atlantic salmon and other sea-run fish gain improved access to 1,000 miles of ancestral river habitat.

Throughout the day, on Indian Island in Old Town, Maine, there will be a wide array of free community activities to celebrate this momentous occasion. The day kicks off at Sockalexis Hall with a live broadcast from the site where dismantling of the Great Works Dam will begin. The Penobscot Indian Nation will then host a community-wide luncheon with ceremonial drumming and remarks by Project leaders. The celebration continues with opportunities to explore interactive and cultural exhibits, canoe on the river, and participate in other activities on Indian Island. The day culminates with a community-wide celebration in the late afternoon.

Schedule of Events
9:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Sockalexis Hall open to community for day’s events and activities

10:15-11:30 a.m., Sockalexis Hall, live broadcast of Great Works Dam demolition and remarks by Ken Salazar, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and other dignitaries.

11:30 a.m., Sockalexis Hall, Community lunch, buffet style
All are welcome at this community lunch, generously hosted by the Penobscot Indian Nation

12:15 Welcome by Kirk Francis, Chief, Penobscot Indian Nation, remarks by invited dignitaries and others involved in the Project. Remarks followed by a Penobscot Indian Nation traditional drumming.

1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Continue to explore the interactive cultural exhibits at Sockalexis Hall, or explore outdoor activities on Indian Island:

  • River Tours - short river tours in Expedition canoes
  • Walking along Boardwalk trail
  • Visit Indian Island Museum

5:15 p.m. Sockalexis Hall, Replay of live broadcast and mornings events, remarks by Chief Francis and other dignitaries

6:00 p.m. End of Activities

There will be a wide range of exhibits and activities at Sockalexis Hall, including:

  • A dynamic history of the Penobscot River
  • A photography exhibit and other related artwork
  • A traditional birch bark canoe on display
  • Traditional Native American Basket weaving and other traditional artisan crafts
  • Children’s activities – a separate children’s activities and educational

A wide array of dignitaries will offer remarks during the dam removal and at Sockalexis Hall, including:

  • Ken Salazar, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior
  • ommissioner Keliher, Maine Department of Marine Resources on behalf of State of Maine
  • Eric Schwaab, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Management, NOAA
  • Maine’s Congressional Delegation or their representative
  • Representatives from partner organizations as well as the local business community

For more information please contact the Penobscot River Restoration Trust at: (207) 817-7362 or

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

Contact information

Merritt Carey
(207) 699-9492

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