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Cobbs Creek Fish Passage

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APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Construction, General

BUSINESS PROGRAM: Environmental Infrastructure

AUTHORITY: Section 566 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1996, as amended.

DESCRIPTION:  The Philadelphia Water Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers partnered to design and construct the best alternative to reestablish fish passage along Cobbs Creek at the Woodland Dam.  The Woodland Dam, also known as Old Swedes Mill, is a low concrete structure managed by the Philadelphia. Modification or removal of the small dam would restore fish passage and improve the aquatic habit along this stream.

Following the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the project team evaluated several alternatives to restore fish passage:

  • No Action
  • Dam Removal (Full)
  • Dam Removal (Partial)
  • Fish Ladder 

The Woodland Dam is located just upstream of the Woodland Avenue Bridge across Cobbs Creek. The Woodland Dam is located approximately 5.4 miles downstream of the confluence of Cobbs Creek and Indian Creek.  The dam is also the first impediment to fish passage along Cobbs Creek. The project limits extend from the bridge upstream approximately 750 feet.

PROJECT GOALS: The purpose of the Cobbs Creek Fish Passage Restoration Project is to investigate, select, and construct the best alternative to reestablish fish passage on Cobbs Creek. 

STATUS: The Army Corps is finalizing Plans and Specifications and obtaining permits for construction. The  project will include partial removal of the dam plus stream restoration for approximately 750 feet upstream of the dam necessary to stabilize the channel.

NON-FEDERAL SPONSOR: Philadelphia Water Department


PROJECT MANAGER: Scott Sanderson