Environmental Protection

Removal of 65 Dams to Restore Rivers in 2012

In 2012, more than 400 miles of streams were restored for the benefit of fish, wildlife, and people across the country. This restoration was completed by communities, non-profit organizations, and state and federal agencies in 19 states.

The removal of 65 outdated or unsafe dams in 19 states helped restore 400 miles of streams, according to American Rivers. States that benefitting from these efforts were California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

“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 Communities nationwide are removing outdated dams because they recognize that a healthy, free-flowing river is a tremendous asset,” said Bob Irvin, president of American Rivers.

American Rivers maintains a record of dam removals in the United States and uses the information to communicate the benefits of dam removal, which include restoring river health and clean water, revitalizing fish and wildlife, improving public safety and recreation, and enhancing local economies.

The top three states for river restoration through dam removal are Pennsylvania, with 13 dams removed; Massachusetts, which 9 dams removed; and Oregon, with 8 dams removed.

For a complete list of dam removals that were completed in 2012, please click here.

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