2015 Year-In-Review: Tremendous Victories for Rivers

Ketchum Run Gorge Loyalsock State Forest | Nicholas Tonelli
Ketchum Run Gorge Loyalsock State Forest | Nicholas Tonelli

The best part of any journey is the people you share it with, and the people, like you, who joined us to protect rivers in 2016 helped us win some incredible victories.

Nationwide, we removed 30 dams and restored 443 miles of rivers through dam removal or re-operation. We safeguarded 140 miles of rivers with new Wild and Scenic designations, and protected more than 447,000 acres of riverside lands.

Rivers deliver the fresh water that flows from our kitchen faucets, and sustain the crops that fill our dinner plates. When we protect rivers, we are protecting our families, our communities and ourselves. Thank you to the caring river champions who donated to help us stop harmful legislation, contacted elected officials to speak up on behalf of their local rivers, or devoted a Saturday to pick up riverside trash in their communities. Together we make a difference for rivers!

We’re excited to begin the year on a wave of momentum built by last year’s successes.
Take a look below at a taste of what we’ve accomplished together.

Apalachicola – Chattahoochee – Flint River Basin

Began to help implement a permeable pavement pilot project with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to limit polluted runoff and ensure cleaner water in Georgia’s Flint River.

Colorado River Basin

Focused national attention on development threats to the Colorado River’s Grand Canyon, naming it America’s Most Endangered River® of 2015.

Connecticut River Basin

Worked with partners to remove a dam on Kinne Brook, a Connecticut River tributary in Chester, Mass., and the International Paper Co. Dam on the Fall River in Gill, Mass., which opened access to over 40 miles of fish habitat.

Delaware River Basin

Removed Byrnes Mill Dam on White Clay Creek, restoring 3.5 miles of migratory fish passage and making history with the first recorded dam removal in the state of Delaware.

Rivers of the Chesapeake Bay

Completed most of the design work and permit applications necessary to remove Bloede Dam on Maryland’s Patapsco River — a dam that poses a serious threat to public safety and blocks migrating fish.

Rivers of the Great Lakes Basin

Advanced clean water safeguards by helping to create a process to establish source water protection plans for all the communities that get their drinking water from Lake Erie.

Rivers of the Northern Rockies

Mobilized more than 10,000 American Rivers members and supporters to contact Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, convincing him to abandon a proposal to build two new dams on the Upper Green River.

Upper Mississippi River Basin

Promoted river restoration by advocating for reforms to the river’s navigation system.

Sacramento-San Joaquin River Basin

Secured more than $3 million in state funds for small farmers and communities to improve water supply security and reduce impacts from diversions on steelhead and salmon in coastal streams.

Rivers of Southern Appalachia and the Carolinas

Secured funding in the North Carolina state budget for local efforts to reduce polluted stormwater runoff.

Rivers of Puget Sound and the Columbia Basin

Achieved new Wild and Scenic River designations for more than 50 miles of rivers in Washington state — forever protecting the entire Pratt River as well as stretches of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River and Illabot Creek, a Skagit River tributary.

Thank you for helping make 2015 a successful year for our rivers!

5 Responses to “2015 Year-In-Review: Tremendous Victories for Rivers”

Sonia Fullenwilder

Wow, I’m so impressed and grateful for what you do for the water. I live in the Wash, DC area and I’m a volunteer that tests watershed quality and help clean the rivers. I’m also a water walker and work with the river in the indigenous ways of my own people. Tell me how I can learn from you and affect some change here in the DC area? Thank you for al that you do!


I want to know of a river thats closest to me so that I can go get baptised….can you help

judith S.

I love it when I read about a dam being dismantled. In Delaware the Brynes Mill Dam on White Clay Creed was removed – restoring migratory fish passage.
I live in Pennsylvania, right close to Delaware. There are so many dams that do not really do any good. So this is great news.
Keep up the good work.