Removing a Dam and Restoring a River

The Challenge

Like thousands of older dams nationwide, the Milburnie Dam on the Neuse River in Raleigh sat idle for years, fell into disrepair, and became a dangerous eyesore. The negative impact on the environment and the safety hazard it posed made it an ideal target for removal.

Together with the owners of the dam, the mitigation banking firm Restoration Systems put forward a proposal to remove the structure and restore the Neuse River in exchange for mitigation credits. In order to obtain the necessary permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Restoration Systems was asked to host a Public Information Workshop and demonstrate strong public support for the project.

The Strategy

Eckel & Vaughan launched a three-month educational campaign with the goals of encouraging residents to attend the workshop and giving supporters unable to attend the opportunity to sign a petition.

The Public Information Workshop was the best case outcome for the project and its feasibility going forward. Eckel & Vaughan was involved in every facet of the event and was instrumental in its success.
- John Preyer Co-Founder and President, Restoration Systems

The Outcome

Utilizing Restoration Systems’ social media channels, an online ad campaign and a traditional PR campaign, we directed supporters to the petition site. This effort resulted in building a broad-based coalition of supporters, including environmental groups and fishing and paddling enthusiasts.

Not only did a large number turn out for the Public Information Workshop, but the petition — with more than 1,400 signatures — was presented to the Corps.