- Associated Press - Friday, July 11, 2014

PETERSBURG, Va. (AP) - Work is underway to remove a dam on the Appomattox River that Virginia officials say will benefit native fish.

The state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said removal of the Harvell Dam in Petersburg is scheduled to begin next week.

Officials say the project will reopen 127 miles of upstream habitat for migratory fish, such as American and hickory shad, the American eel, and river herring.

It also is expected to enhance recreational boating and fishing, providing an about $68 million economic boost to the area.

The dam was originally constructed to generate hydropower. It will be the sixteenth dam removed within the Chesapeake Bay watershed in Virginia since 2004.

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