Our list of 60 dams that were removed in 2010, benefitting hundreds of miles of rivers nationwide.
This resource guide provides a snapshot of some of the exciting river restoration projects for 2011, and information about the benefits of dam removal.
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 Outdated or unsafe dams came out of rivers across the nation, restoring 400 miles of streams for the benefit of fish, wildlife and people across the country.
Communities in 18 states, working in partnership with non-profit organizations and state and federal agencies, removed 51 dams in 2013.
Communities in 19 states, working in partnership with non-profit organizations and state and federal agencies, removed 72 dams in 2014, restoring more than 730 miles of streams for the benefit of fish, wildlife and people.
American Rivers work in Columbia, SC to improve flows in the Broad River.
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.
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
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.
American Rivers is providing funding to California State Parks through our National Partnership with the NOAA Community-based Restoration Program to look at the possibility of dam removal and river restoration to open up over 60 miles of Eel River to salmon. Dam removal would mean there would be no more barriers to salmon on the South Fork of the Eel River. The dam is also a liability and cost to California State Parks and California taxpayers so there would also be financial benefits to removal.
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.
The removal of two dams on Washington's Elwha River is one of the most significant river restoration projects of our time.
Through the relicensing of the Oroville Dam, American Rivers is helping to restore water flows and temperature, floodplain habitat, habitat for salmon and steelhead, and improve recreational opportunities along the Feather River.
With our funding support and planning assistance, the Horse Creek dam in the Sisquoc River basin near Santa Barbara was blown up to make way for steelhead.
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.
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.
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.
The fish ladder on Marsh Creek, upstream from Dutch Slough in the Bay Delta, enables salmon to bypass a 6-foot high dam and access 7 miles of salmon habitat upstream.
We have helped fund a local watershed group to remove numerous poorly designed road crossings that prevented coho salmon and steelhead from reaching large portions of the Mattole River watershed.
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.
The Penobscot River Restoration Trust, of which American Rivers is a founding member, has been working toward removing Penobscot's outdated dams for many years. Removing the river's two lowermost dams (Veazie Dam and Great Works Dam) and installing fish passage on two other dams will restore access to roughly 1,000 miles of habitat for the river's fish, making this project one of the most significant dam removal efforts ever.
On July 1, 1999, as a church bell broke the stillness of the morning, I had the great privilege of witnessing the rebirth of Maine’s Kennebec River as it flowed free for the first time in 162 years. Since then, I have had the opportunity to observe numerous other dam removals, but none quite as moving, successful, and ultimately transformative.
American Rivers is working with the Center for Ecosystem Restoration, the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and others to remove dams as part of the Shawsheen River Restoration Project in order to restore a free-flowing native river ecosystem.
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.
Ten years ago, on July 1, 1999, American Rivers and our partners celebrated a historic success when Edwards Dam was removed from the Kennebec River in Augusta, Maine. The dam removal marked a turning point for river conservation in our country. Since then, more than 600 outdated dams have been removed nationwide, and the number of recorded dam removals has grown each year.
American Rivers dubbed 2011 “the year of the river” because of these and other historic river restoration projects. In fact, this year we will reach the significant milestone of 1000 dams removed in the U.S. Explore the links below to learn about the Elwha and White Salmon, and other rivers being restored through dam removal.
Some of California's oldest dams are located on the Yuba river, blocking salmon and steelhead from their historic habitat in the upper Yuba basin.