Featured Work

2010 Dam Removals

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

2011 Dam Removal Resource Guide

This resource guide provides a snapshot of some of the exciting river restoration projects for 2011, and information about the benefits of dam removal.

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 Outdated or unsafe dams came out of rivers across the nation, restoring 400 miles of streams for the benefit of fish, wildlife and people across the country.

2013 Dam Removals

Communities in 18 states, working in partnership with non-profit organizations and state and federal agencies, removed 51 dams in 2013.

Broad River, SC: Restoring Flows, Fish and Flowers

American Rivers work in Columbia, SC to improve flows in the Broad River.

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.

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

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.

Eel River, CA

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.

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.

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.

Feather River, CA

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.

Green River, MA

American Rivers' work on the Green River will remove the first dam on the river, the Wiley & Russell Dam. The dam is a timber crib and concrete dam that is 14-feet high and 165 feet long. The Town is also considering fish passage at the second dam, the Mill Street Dam, and partners will investigate additional options for the two upstream dams once passage is achieved at the lower dams.

Horse Creek Dam, Horse Creek, CA

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 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.

Marsh Creek Fish Passage Restoration

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.

Mattole River, CA

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.

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.

Penobscot River, ME

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.

Restoration of the Musconetcong River (New Jersey)

River Rebirth: Removing Edwards Dam on Maine’s Kennebec River

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.

Shawsheen River, MA

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.

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.

The 10th Anniversary of the Removal of Maine’s Edwards Dam

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.

Year of the River

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. - See more at: http://www.americanrivers.org/initiative/dams/projects/year-of-the-river/#sthash.pLB9eWfB.dpuf

Yuba River, CA

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.