Dear Honorable Exeter Selectmen and Selectwomen,

My feelings were of great dismay when I read about the 3-2 vote against the Great Dam removal. This email is not to get into all the political and financial information that the River Study committee has already presented to the Board.

This email is from a lifelong Exeter resident concerned about the health of the Great Bay. It is a proven fact that the Great Dam removal would be beneficial to the water quality of the Squamscott River and Great Bay.

Selectman Quandt, I’ve known your father since I was a teenager. I’ve always respected his view on local and state government. I was embarrassed when I read his words in his letter to the editor of the Exeter Newsletter that said “raw sewage feed the fish”.

I hope your vote against the dam removal was made after you reviewed all the pros and cons and not personal to support a family member.

Selectwoman Gilman, Your words in the Exeter Newsletter recently about the “major impact” on the culture and history of Exeter does not go far enough back. I am wrong when I see the American alewives as the symbol of the town of Exeter and its historical district?

Didn’t Exeter hold Alewife Festivals in the past to recognize the great importance in history of this anadromous fish species to Exeter?  The current dam is blocking alewives from their historical breeding grounds. A call to NH F&G will confirm that the alewives are declining due to not being able to successfully navigate the fish ladder.

Selectman Chartrand, Wouldn’t property values in downtown Exeter benefit if once again the great run of anadromous fish (alewives and shad) were to return to Exeter each spring and possibly revitalize the Alewife Festival? The removal of the Great Dam would benefit all historical Exeter fish species not to mention the amount of people that would come to see the annual spring fish migration to the falls.

I am in favor of the citizen’s petition to let the people of Exeter vote on dam removal. Yes or no I will support the decision of the people of Exeter. As our elected officials I do not believe your vote voiced the concerns of the whole town especially after reviewing all the stated benefits in the Great Dam River Study.

Would the dam removal benefit me in any personal way? Yes it would because I am a recreational lobsterman and striped bass fisherman of Great Bay. I’ve been fishing Great Bay for striped bass since a young boy. I have been a hobby lobsterman for the past 16 years. I know firsthand what is happening to the water quality and the declining alewife population. I can only say that I believe the Great Dam removal would be beneficial to everyone.

I’d like to leave you with two things.

1.      A link to the Exeter Historical Society on the importance of the alewife to the Town of Exeter.

2.    A  saying at the end of every Bass Pro Shop commercial “We all live downstream”.

Thank you for your time.

Very respectfully yours,

David O’Hearn

9 Hale St

Exeter, NH