Featured Image from US Army Corps of Engineers
2019 was a big year for dam removal and the freeing of America’s rivers. In 26 states, a record 90 dams were removed according to American Rivers’ annual removal report. There is still a long way to go to remove derelict or otherwise not economically viable dams, as there are currently approx. 84,000 dams still in place across the US.
“One of the most cost-effective ways to deal with outdated, unsafe dams is to remove them,” American Rivers said in a press release. “Removing dams allows rivers to flow naturally, which can have benefits for water quality, flood protection, fish and wildlife habitat, ecosystem health and recreation.”
“More states than ever saw dam removals last year, which means more states than ever are seeing the benefits of healthy, free-flowing rivers,” said Bob Irvin, President and CEO of American Rivers.
“As we celebrate the progress made last year, we are working with our partners to grow the river restoration movement and accelerate the pace of dam removal nationwide. With floods and droughts increasing with climate change and many populations of fish and wildlife in decline, healthy free-flowing rivers have never been more important to our well-being and our future.”
2019 Dam Removal Leaderboard:
- California – 23 Dams Removed, 20 within Cleveland Nat’l Forest
- Pennsylvania – 14 Dams Removed
- New Hampshire – 6 Dams Removed
- Vermont – 6 Dams Remove