With song and healing prayer, members of the Penobscot Indian Nation rejoiced this morning, as did many other groups and individuals along the bank of the Penobscot River in Eddington.

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The reason for the celebration is the beginning of the Veazie Dam Breach.

Executive Director with the Natural Resources Council of Maine Lisa Pohlmann says the removal of the Veazie dam is the culmination of a decade’s worth of work by a huge collaborative of people.

"This is the dam that's going to allow the fish to start running. We took out the Great Works last year but now we're taking the one below it out," stated Pohlmann. "It's crucial because the restoration of the river allows the anadromous fish to come up from the sea to spawn. Many people think it is the last greatest hope for the Atlantic salmon."

The current concrete dam was built in 1913 and spans 830 feet  across the Penobscot River between Veazie and Eddington and it will take about a year to fully remove.

One of the dignitaries on hand at today's celebration was Congressman Mike Michaud who said it was a fantastic day. "The collaborative effort of the groups involved is what's amazing when you look at the diversity of the groups that were able to work out their difference and challenges to achieve the same goal of restoring the health of the Penobscot River," stated Michaud.

It's expected the removal of the Veazie Dam will help to restore not only the habitat for Atlantic salmon but an entire river ecosystem.