Dam Removal Forum Spurs New Partnerships

American Rivers hosts a Georgia dam removal forum that inspires partnerships and collaborations for future river restoration projects.

Gerrit Jobsis

American Rivers is one of the nation’s leading experts on river restoration and dam removal, and we’re always grateful when our successes inspire others to learn from our experiences.

In October, we were delighted to share our expertise with a group of activists, engineers and government officials who want to restore their rivers. American Rivers teamed up with the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) and researchers from the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources to present a first-ever dam removal training workshop on the UGA campus.

American Rivers’ River Restoration staff experts presented alongside speakers from UGA, SARP, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The event brought together regulators, students, scientists, conservationists, and government and wildlife conservation agency officials who work at the local, state and federal levels.

The session presented the science and strategy behind dam removal from planning and permitting to construction and habitat restoration and all the steps in between. The workshop concluded with a roundtable discussion about next steps in Georgia. Among those, the group decided to develop a “Georgia Aquatic Connectivity Team,” in which American Rivers plans to participate along with government officials and other interested folks. We expect the team to spark a lot of partnerships and collaborations that will get more projects moving in Georgia.

Partnerships and collaborations are vital for any dam removal success. Recently, American Rivers pioneered an innovative partnership with the southern region of the U.S. Forest Service to remove the Citico Creek Dam in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest. The dam was constructed 50 years ago to segregate cold and warm water fish, but researchers discovered the dam was doing more harm than good. We worked with the Forest Service to remove the dam, and are now working to restore the natural stream corridor.

American Rivers will continue working with the Forest Service and other partners to remove unused, unsafe and unsound dams as well as those that risk public health and adversely impact species that rely on rivers.

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