The 6m high Petun Dam located in the headwaters of Black Ash Creek near Collingwood, supported a 100m long stagnant head pond full of sediment and nutrients which promoted algae growth and impacted water quality downstream. This stagnant head pond also served as a heat sink which increased mean summer heat wave temperatures in Black Ash Creek by 4C and negatively impacted coldwater trout habitat. Starting in 2010, the Nottawasaga Watershed Improvement Program began to work with the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) and partner groups such as the Blue Mountain Watershed Trust and Nottawasaga Steelheaders to design a construction plan and obtain necessary permits for a dam removal project. With support from Bruce Power, Greenbelt Foundation, Enbridge, Environment Canada, Province of Ontario, and the Community Action Framework, the dam removal was completed in 2020. The NVCA is working with local groups on a 2021 plan to naturalize the new creek and valley corridor.
Nearest city or town: Town of the Blue Mountains, near Collingwood
Project start date: July 2, 2020
Project focus: Ecosystem Restoration
Project contact: Fred Dobbs