Rivers Run Free… Nation’s Biggest Dam Removal Is Done

Filed under: News 

Last year, 72 dams were removed across the country, including the final portion of the Glines Canyon Dam along the Elwha River in Washington, the largest dam ever removed.

Removing the Glines Canyon Dam in Washington
Removing a portion of the Glines Canyon Dam in Washington

In Asia, Africa, and South America many dams are still being built and used for their greenhouse-gas-free production of hydroelectric energy. But in North America, there is a growing recognition that in some places dam building went too far.

The Glines Canyon Dam during its removal
The Glines Canyon Dam during its removal

American Rivers keeps track of all the dams removed across the country. In 2014, those 72 removed dams were found in 19 states.

This restored more than 730 miles of streams, which will now begin to return to their natural state, allowing fish and plant life to thrive again. Pennsylvania topped the list with 17 dams removed.

Removal of the Harvel Dam along the Appomattox River in Virginia.
Removal of the Harvel Dam along the Appomattox River in Virginia.

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

Removal of the International Paper Co. Dam No. 2 along Fall River in Massachusetts
Removal of the International Paper Co. Dam No. 2 along Fall River in Massachusetts

–Learn more and support nonprofit American Rivers to keep American rivers running free.

 

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Eric is a contributing writer based in Bozeman, MT. An avid climber, mountain biker, backpacker, and snowboarder, he earned his degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota - Duluth. When not living the GearJunkie life, he can be found exploring the Montana backcountry.
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