FREEING RIVERS HIT A NEW HIGH.
Of the 11 dams American Rivers played a part in removing last year, Bloede Dam on Maryland’s Patapsco River was the most complex. The linchpin removal in a decades-long restoration effort eliminated a drowning hazard and opened up more than 65 miles of spawning habitat for blueback herring, alewife and shad. Our advocacy and trainings have also built a powerful movement: A record number of dams have been removed in the last two years.
WILD AND SCENIC DESIGNATIONS SURGED.
American Rivers is advancing toward our goal of 5,000 new protected river miles by 2020. Just months after East Rosebud Creek became Montana’s first Wild and Scenic River in 42 years, bipartisan-supported legislation permanently protected 620 miles of rivers in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island and Utah.
FEDERAL POLICY EMBRACED RIVER-FRIENDLY SOLUTIONS.
We helped create new avenues for dam and levee removal by securing legislation that requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider taking out dams and restoring natural floodplains as ways to deal with under-performing infrastructure. Simultaneously, the Corps issued new guidance that will create a greater market for dam removal — the result of years of effort by American Rivers and our partners to educate federal agency and administration staff.
CLEAN WATER RULE WAS UPHELD … FOR NOW.
American Rivers won a critical victory last August, when a federal court ruled in our favor, finding that the Trump adminis- tration did not comply with the law when it moved to roll back the Clean Water Rule, which protects headwater and seasonal streams. The administration has since taken new action to repeal the rule — a decision we are fighting in court.
AMERICAN RIVERS OPENED EYES AND MINDS.
America’s Most Endangered Rivers® of 2019 report garnered significant national and local media attention. Fifty years after Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River went up in flames, we named the iconic waterway “River of the Year” in recognition of the vast improvements achieved thanks to the Clean Water Act. The accolade became a national talking point and an emblem of what is possible when urban areas prioritize clean water and rivers.