Saving the Grand Canyon

One of our country’s most iconic stretches of river and foremost natural treasures – the Colorado River’s Grand Canyon – is facing a battery of threats that could forever harm the river’s health and ruin the once-in-a-lifetime experience for people visiting the park. American Rivers is spearheading a national effort to save this special place, and we need your help.

Oregon and California (“O&C”) Lands

The future of 2.6 million acres of high value public forest lands is at risk. Managed mainly by the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon known as Oregon and California (“O&C”) lands, these forests are home to perhaps the highest concentrations of pristine wild rivers in the United States. Watersheds such as the Rogue, Illinois, Umpqua, and McKenzie support abundant fish and wildlife, including elk, black-tail deer, back bear and the healthiest wild salmon and steelhead runs south of Canada.

Stearns Dam Removal, Crooked River, Oregon

In October 2013, Stearns Dam joined a list of other note-worthy Pacific Northwest dams: Elwha, Condit, Marmot and Savage Rapids when it was removed from the Crooked River.

Nooksack River Recreation Planning

The purpose of the Nooksack River Recreation Plan (NRRP) is to provide guidance and clear recommendations for managing recreation use in the upper watersheds while at the same time protecting and restoring streamside and riverine habitat for fish and wildlife.

Our Next Wild and Scenic Rivers

American Rivers and partners are working to protect new rivers with Wild and Scenic designation, including rivers in the North Cascades, Olympic Peninsula, and the Rogue. They are outstanding rivers with special fish and wildlife habitat, clean water, and recreation opportunities for future generations.

Protecting the Wild Yampa River

The Yampa River in northwest Colorado is the last major free-flowing river in the Colorado River Basin. Carving through beautiful canyons and rich with history, the Yampa joins the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument. Because of its wild nature, the Yampa and its canyons provide refuge for endangered species and offer unparalleled recreational opportunities.

Egg Lake Dam Removal & First River Restoration Project

American Rivers is partnering with U.S. Forest Service with funding support from the state of Minnesota through the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council‰'s Conservation Partners Legacy Grant program to remove this inoperable dam, reconnect stream habitats and reestablish wetlands at the project site. This project will result in unobstructed flows in at least 2 miles of headwater habitat and will include road decommissioning to remove unneeded access roads.

Colorado River Basin Study Overview

In December 2012, the Bureau of Reclamation released the Colorado River Basin Study, a comprehensive look at projected water shortages and outdated water management in a basin that the American west has drawn heavily on for decades.

2012 Dams Removed

Communities in 19 states, working in partnership with non-profit organizations and state and federal agencies, removed 65 dams in 2012, American Rivers announced today. Outdated or unsafe dams came out of rivers across the nation, restoring 400 miles of streams for the benefit of fish, wildlife and people across the country.

Colorado River Basin – Protecting the Flows

Until 1998, the Colorado River stretched all the way from its source in the Rockies to Sea of Cortez. Now, it dries up in the Sonoran Desert miles before it reaches the sea. The Colorado River is the lifeline of the west, fueling economies in seven states where people use the river's water for their material sustenance; millions more use the river itself for recreation.

Westlawn Redevelopment

American Rivers was recently recognized for their work with the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee. Over the past year we helped the Housing Authority secure $225,000 from the Fund for Lake Michigan of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation for bioswales in a reconstruction project of Wisconsin's largest public housing cluster on Milwaukee's northwest side.

Transforming Urban Gardens

American Rivers and the Garden District Neighborhood Association recently received a grant through Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District‰'s Green Infrastructure Partnership Program. The funding is helping transform an area on Milwaukee‰'s Southside into a sustainable showcase for urban community gardens across the country.

Green Infrastructure to Alleviate Flooding

American Rivers completed retrofitting over 12 acres of impervious surface in the Wilson Park Creek Subwatershed.

Darby Creek Restoration Project, PA

American Rivers is partnering with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission to alleviate localized flooding, improve in-stream habitat, reestablish connectivity for resident and migratory fish (including American shad, hickory shad, alewife, river herring, American eel, bass, shiners, and suckers) , and restore free-flowing conditions along Darby Creek, a direct tributary to the Delaware River.

Yakima Basin Conservation Campaign

American Rivers is working with the Yakama Indian Nation and conservation partners at the National Wildlife Federation, The Wilderness Society, Trout Unlimited, and others to negotiate a comprehensive package of large scale fish passage, habitat restoration and protection, and water management improvements to restore abundant Yakima River salmon and steelhead in a way that earns the lasting support of the Yakama Nation, local farmers, and local communities.

Verde River

The Verde River is an important tributary to the Colorado River and a unique resource in Arizona. One of the few perennially flowing rivers in the Southwest, the Verde sustains lush riverside forest, a large and diverse wildlife population, and provides critical drinking water to many Central Arizona communities. Aboriginal cultures have been present in the area for thousands of years. Cliff dwellings can still be seen in the rocks above the river.

Local Stormwater Codes and Ordinances

American Rivers is working at the local level to review current codes and ordinances to provide sound recommendations to Planning Commissions and legislative bodies to reduce hard surfaces, create incentives to implement low impact development techniques such as rain gardens, bioretention, and green roofs, and protect buffers. These local changes will reduce polluted stormwater runoff and flooding and increase greenspace.

State Stormwater Permits

American Rivers is promoting green infrastructure solutions within state urban stormwater permits. Green infrastructure is a proven solution that is easily implemented in urban areas.

2010 Dam Removals

Our list of 60 dams that were removed in 2010, benefitting hundreds of miles of rivers nationwide.

Condit Dam, White Salmon River, WA

Removal of the dam began with a breach draining the reservoir on October 26, 2011, and will allow the White Salmon River to once again be home to abundant wild salmon and steelhead runs

Elwha River Restoration, WA

The removal of two dams on Washington's Elwha River is one of the most significant river restoration projects of our time.

Kellogg Creek Dam, OR

Kellogg Dam is located at the mouth of Kellogg Creek which is a tributary to the Willamette River in the City of Milwaukie, Oregon. The creek historically had populations of Coho salmon before the dam was constructed, but now this 16 foot high dam blocks passage for Coho and other salmonids. The City of Milwaukie plans to remove the dam as part of an effort to restore these historic Coho runs and to revitalize the Milwaukie riverfront for the local community. The removal will also include the restoration of the stream and lakebed upstream of the dam to create excellent habitat along cold water pools in this area.

Klamath River, OR and CA

The Klamath River once supported the third-largest salmon run on the West Coast. Today, salmon and steelhead runs are a fraction of their historic abundance, with some near extinction.

Lower Snake River, ID, OR and WA

The salmon and steelhead of the Snake River are magnificent creatures, traveling over 900 miles from the sea to spawn in Idaho‰'s high mountain streams. Unfortunately, this icon of the region is threatened with extinction, due in large part to the effects of the four lower Snake River dams.

Patapsco River, MD

American Rivers is working with the Friends of the Patapsco Valley State Park, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to remove several dams on the beautiful Patapsco River.

Developing Green Infrastructure Solutions: Stormwater Management Workshop and Presentation

American Rivers hosted the workshop "Solutions for Municipalities Managing Stormwater" at Swarthmore College in January 2009. The workshop was conducted to present sound stormwater management to municipalities and their engineers, citizen-based watershed groups, and civic leadership.

Green Infrastructure in Darby Creek, PA

American Rivers is working to restore DarbyCcreek and use green infrastructure to mimic the way water would naturally flow over the land. The Darby Creek restoration project will restore habitat and stream function by removing four barriers within the creek. At the same time, American Rivers‰' Clean Water program has partnered with several local agencies and groups to install rain barrels at homes and foster community based solutions to stormwater management.

Illabot Creek, Washington

American Rivers is working to permanently protect Illabot Creek‰'s free-flowing character, water quality and outstanding fish and wildlife values. Illabot Creek, a tributary to the Wild and Scenic Skagit River, provides crucial habitat for two of the Northwest‰'s beloved icons - salmon and eagles.

Alpine Lakes, Washington

American Rivers is working with a coalition of conservation and recreation groups to protect and designate nearly 30 miles of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and the entire 11-mile Pratt River as Wild and Scenic Rivers, as well as add 22,000 acres of new wilderness to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area.

Washington Rivers Eligible for Wild and Scenic Designation

Rain Garden and Rain Barrel Initiatives

American Rivers works on the local, state and federal levels to promote a range of green infrastructure solutions such as rain gardens, green roofs, and rain barrels. These approaches work in concert with nature to collect and filter runoff, reduce flooding, and minimize pollution in our rivers and streams while helping to save money and energy too.

Moving Out of Harm’s Way

Floodplain and Wetlands Restoration Projects

Successful Habitat Restoration Projects

Connecting Water Conservation Efforts and Instream Flow Protections in the Colorado River Basin

American Rivers is partnering with the Alliance for Water Efficiency and the Environmental Law Institute on a one-year project exploring the links between water efficiency and instream flows in the Colorado River basin.

Innovative Water Management in the Northwest

The Northwest‰'s magnificent rivers are the lifeblood of natural ecosystems and human communities. We cannot take our rivers and fresh water for granted. Climate change, population growth, and the increasing value of water as a marketable commodity have led to calls for new water supply reservoirs and more water withdrawals from rivers, both of which can devastate river ecosystems.

Molalla River, Oregon

American Rivers is working to protect the Molalla Rivers, which is an important resource for clean water, and additionally is an important habitat for salmon, trout and steelhead, along with other species that are part of this river ecosystem. Additionally the river is an important place for river recreation.

Mt. Hood Rivers, Oregon

American Rivers' has been active in protecting the rivers of Mt. Hood-- Oregon enjoys a reputation for some of the greatest river ecosystems and river recreation in the country.

Nooksack River, Washington

Flowing from the high snowfields and glaciers of Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, and the Twin Sisters range in the North Cascades, the Nooksack River system is home to all five types of salmon, steelhead, bull trout, bald eagle, black bear, cougar, elk, and many other fish and wildlife species that need intact, wild places to survive. Whitewater rivers, incredible mountain views and old-growth forests provide world-class hiking, kayaking, and other recreation opportunities. Yet the majority of the Nooksack system remains unprotected

North Fork John Day River, Oregon

Olympic Peninsula, Washington

American Rivers is a core member of a coalition working to protect over 400 miles of river habitat on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State through Wild and Scenic designation.

Volcano Country, Washington

American Rivers is working with the Volcano Country Wild and Scenic Rivers Coalition to protect 200 miles of rivers and streams in Southwest Washington‰'s Volcano Country‰ under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Wild Rogue River, Oregon