American Rivers and NOAA Award $157,000 to Restore Rivers and Fisheries in Oregon

New interactive dam removal map available at www.AmericanRivers.org

May 19th, 2010

Serena McClain, American Rivers, (202) 347-7550 ext. 3004

Washington, DC – Rivers and fisheries in Oregon will benefit from $157,000 in grants from American Rivers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Restoration Center. Grants available through the partnership between American Rivers and the NOAA Community-based Restoration Program totaling $748,000 were awarded to projects in seven states to improve river health, restore fisheries, improve public safety and reduce flood risks. Projects in Oregon will benefit the Calapooia and Molalla rivers.

American Rivers also announced the launch of a new interactive map where visitors can find information about dam removal and river restoration in their area.

“We are helping communities turn their rivers from liabilities into assets,” said Rebecca Wodder, president of American Rivers. “By getting rid of an outdated dam and restoring a river to health, we not only improve the environment, we can improve public safety and the local economy as well.” 

“Strong community-based stewardship is the key ingredient to successful coastal habitat restoration,” said Eric Schwaab, Assistant Secretary for NOAA Fisheries. “Our partnership with American Rivers promotes local action on behalf of the habitat that sustains our nation’s fishery resources and provides long-term health and economic benefits to communities.”

Since 2001, American Rivers and the NOAA Community-based Restoration Program have provided financial and technical assistance for more than 125 river restoration projects benefiting fish populations and habitats in the Northeast (ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI), Mid-Atlantic (NY, PA, NJ, DE, MD, DC, VA), Northwest (WA, OR, ID), and California. Funding is provided through the NOAA Open Rivers Initiative which seeks to enable environmental and economic renewal in local communities through the removal of stream barriers and restoration of fish that live in both marine and freshwater habitats. 

American Rivers has selected the following Oregon restoration projects to receive grants: 

Project: Shear Dam Removal Design, Calapooia River, near Shedd, Oregon
Phase: Design
Amount: $75,000
Grantee: Calapooia Watershed Council

The removal of Shear Dam is part of a watershed-wide effort to restore access for winter steelhead, spring chinook, cutthroat trout, and Pacific lamprey, restoring over 70 miles of free-flowing tributaries and the mainstem Calapooia. The removal of the Brownsville Dam in 2007 kicked off this effort and will be followed by the removal of the Sodom Dam sometime in 2010 or 2011. Removing the Shear Dam will restore important habitat and open access to headwaters spawning grounds. The removal of Shear dam will not only benefit fish, it will also reduce flooding from small, frequent storms.

Project: Cedar Creek Culvert Replacement, Molalla River watershed, Molalla, Oregon
Phase: Construction
Amount: $82,092
Grantee: Native Fish Society

The Native Fish Society, in cooperation with landowner Weyerhaeuser Company, will remove three culverts at the Cedar Creek crossing on S. Molalla Forest Road and replace them with a double-lane bridge. The project will reestablish wild winter steelhead access to 2.5 miles of important spawning and rearing habitat, and will also benefit coho salmon, resident rainbow and cutthroat trout, Pacific lamprey and dace. American Rivers is working to secure National Wild and Scenic River designation for the Molalla to permanently protect 21 miles of river, and approximately 7,000 acres of riverside land.

American Rivers is the leading conservation organization standing up for healthy rivers so communities can thrive. American Rivers protects and restores America’s rivers for the benefit of people, wildlife and nature. Founded in 1973, American Rivers has more than 65,000 members and supporters, with offices in Washington, DC and nationwide. Visit www.AmericanRivers.org

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

Established in 1991, the Restoration Center is the only office within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) solely devoted to restoring the nation’s coastal, marine, and migratory fish habitats. The Restoration Center works with a wide array of partners to restore mangrove, salt marsh, seagrass, oyster, coral reef, kelp forest, and river habitats. Through habitat restoration, the Restoration Center contributes to the sustainability of commercial and recreational fisheries.


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About American Rivers

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Find your connections at AmericanRivers.org, Facebook.com/AmericanRivers, and Twitter.com/AmericanRivers.