American Rivers Reports on 2014 U. S. Dam Removals
Communities in 19 states, working in partnership with non-profit organizations and state and federal agencies, removed 72 dams in 2014, restoring more than 730 miles of streams for the benefit of fish, wildlife and people. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin are represented on the list.
“The river restoration movement in our country is stronger than ever. Communities nationwide are removing dams because they recognize that a healthy, free-flowing river is a tremendous asset,” said Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers.
American Rivers is the only organization maintaining 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. American Rivers played a role in 20 of the dam removals on this year’s list. This list includes all known dam removals, regardless of the level of American Rivers’ involvement.
Pennsylvania topped the list for the twelfth year in a row
The top three states for river restoration through dam removal in 2014 are:
- Pennsylvania – 17 dams removed
- California – 12 dams removed
- Michigan – 6 dams removed
Ohio, Massachusetts, and Iowa all had five dam removals in 2014. American Rivers will add the information on these 72 dam removals to its database of 1,185 dams that have been removed across the country since 1912. Most of those dams (971) were removed in the past 20 years.Looking ahead to this year, American Rivers set a goal of 75 dams removed. Scheduled dam removals include the West Brittania Dam on the Mill River in Massachusetts and the Fielder and Wimer dams on Evans Creek, a tributary to the Rogue River in Oregon. Removal of the Plymco Dam on Town Brook in Plymouth, Massachusetts began just last week.
To accompany the 2014 list, American Rivers updated the interactive map that includes all known dam removals in the United States as far back as 1936. The map features the name of the dam and river, location, year the dam was removed, as well as other interesting facts.