65 Dams Removed to Restore Rivers in 2012

Dams were removed in 19 states

American Rivers dam removal

Communities in 19 states, working in partnership with non-profit organizations and state and federal agencies, removed 65 dams in 2012, according to American Rivers.

Outdated or unsafe dams came out of rivers in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin, restoring 400 miles of streams for the benefit of fish, wildlife and people across the country.

“The river restoration movement in our country is stronger than ever. Communities nationwide are removing outdated dams because they recognize that a healthy, free-flowing river is a tremendous asset,” said Bob Irvin, president of American Rivers.

The top three states for river restoration through dam removal in 2012 are Pennsylvania (13 dams removed), Massachusetts (9 dams removed) and Oregon (8 dams removed).

The complete list of dam removals in 2012 is available at www.americanrivers.org/2012damremovals.

American Rivers played a role in 24 of the dam removals in 2012. This list includes all known dam removals, regardless of the level of American Rivers’ involvement.

“The projects on this list represent more than just data points. They illustrate the power of community,” said Irvin. “Behind many of these projects are stories of dam owners kept awake at night wondering if their dam will survive the next storm, or of local watershed groups struggling to find funding in this tough economy to restore their river and fisheries.” 

There are hundreds of thousands of dams blocking rivers across the U.S. While many serve useful purposes, others are obsolete or abandoned. These outdated dams are barriers to migrating fish and limit river recreation opportunities like canoeing and fishing. Dams can create drowning hazards for swimmers, anglers and boaters, and deteriorating dams threaten the safety of downstream communities.

American Rivers

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