"The town started removing the Pearl Street Mill dam this month - an effort that advocates claim will improve the health of the Charles River.
State officials and river advocates believe that the project marks the first time an undamaged dam has been removed along the river's span.
Alex Hackman, of the Division of Ecological Restoration, said the state office is supporting Bellingham in the project. Dams hurt a river's health by creating stagnant, warmer water, he said.
"With most dams, you see consistent symptoms," he said. "They back up the water, creating an artificial pond, and tend to settle out sediment. Over time, the sediment causes the water to get shallower, warming the water."
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