The origins of Passamaquoddy Tidal Dam began with Dexter P. Cooper's investigation in 1926. Following a stay on Campobello Island Cooper, funded by General Electric, began drawing plans. His engineering background gave him only a small advantage in the unknown realm of tidal power. Areas of interest to Copper were Cummings Cove, Welshpool, and Cobscook Bay. Though there are no existing records of construction designs or of known locations, his project was based of rock fill and Clay. These materials would be readily available from the excavated loads. However, it was later found the clay surfaces of the underwater embankment would be unstable. In subsequent years the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commandeered the project with the blessing of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Under the military presence Quoddy Village was created to support the thousand workers and their families. The project was expanded to include four different divisions of the surrounding water and land; including Eastport and Lubec, Carryingplace cove, Pleasant point, Carlow Island, and Haycock harbor. Between 1935 and 1937 construction began on the smaller dams. The most powerful opponent to the Passamaquoddy project was Congress. By the fall of 1937 the federal funding was decrease to half of its original value. By the subsequent spring a congressional vote cut funding completely and the project was halted. "Everybody in residence at Quoddy Village packed up their bags and went home. The euphoria and enthusiasm that had infused this state at the outset of the visionary power project dissolved in a pool of disenchantment with the New Deal". Funding was not the only issues facing the project. Problems such as galvanic action from salt water, freezing at low tide, high pressures at high tide, and treaties with Canada all stood in the way of a functioning tidal dam. Environmental issues came into slight consideration in the projects beginnings. Among others the net effect of the proposed tidal power plant will decrease the tidal range within the impoundments by approximately from 20% - 40%; thereby, resulting in the transition of inter-tidal zones into permanently submerged lands. This will greatly change the surrounding ecosystem and residing organisms. Fish in particular would be greatly affected by the dams (St. Croix Watershed). Though little attention was shed on these environmental issues will such highly anticipated success. The original goals of the Passamaquoddy tidal project were to supply jobs to an economical depressed nation and to supply cheap available energy to the surrounding state. Collected data from the recording stations estimates a total energy collection of 14,000 MWe. With a Gibrat ratio, which is a scaled based off of the length of the barrage in meters to the annual energy production in kilowatt hours to demonstrate environmental impact where 1 is the best and 0 is the worse, of .92 the impact on the environment would be minimal while still maintaining a high energy production. Over the past decades talk of reinstituting the project is not far from becoming a reality. Plans have been transformed but the location and idea behind the Passamaquoddy tidal dam still remains.

Click here to view additional maps, figures, and pictures of the Passamaquoddy tidal project. 

Click here to view the future of Passamaquoddy tidal project

#renderCommentsWithProfilePics($page $sitemeshPage)