Barrier Removals in California
Fish passage barrier removal
Since 1999, when American Rivers spearheaded the effort to remove the Edwards Dam from the Kennebec River in Maine, we have led the national movement to remove obsolete dams and other barriers from rivers.
Since 2001, American Rivers has partnered with NOAA to help communities around the country restore their local rivers by removing unnecessary dams. This program has provided over $4 million in financial assistance and priceless hours of technical assistance to more than 100 river restoration projects in California and across the country.
In California, at least 80% of the historic spawning and rearing habitat historically available to salmon and steelhead, fish that spawn in freshwater and mature in the ocean, has been blocked by barriers. Our California program focuses on projects that remove obsolete dams and other barriers such as culverts to provide fish migration and restore more natural river conditions. We have helped remove over 20 barriers large and small, opening up more than 100 miles of habitat. The links below are only some of our past and ongoing projects.
- Matilija Coalition to remove the Matilija Dam in the Ventura River watershed to restore steelhead migration and replenish the sand supply to nearby beaches suffering from erosion.
- blown up to make way for steelhead.