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American Rivers Dam Removal Database


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Note: This item is being used in a data pipeline that supports the Dam Removal Information Portal. We recommend users directly access the American River's Dam Removal Database from Figshare: In the last century, the U.S. led the world in dam building for many purposes, including hydropower, irrigation, flood control and water storage. While dams can benefit society, they also cause considerable harm to rivers. Dams have depleted fisheries, degraded river ecosystems, and altered recreational opportunities on nearly all of our nation’s rivers. Today, many dams that were once at the epicenter of a community’s livelihood are now old, unsafe or no longer serving their intended purposes. American [...]


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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has cataloged that at least 90,000 dams greater than six-feet tall are blocking our rivers and streams. There are tens of thousands of additional small dams that fall through the cracks of our national inventory. Dams fragment our nation’s rivers, preventing fish from accessing historic habitat, impeding natural river processes, creating safety hazards and costing resources to maintain. The dam removal movement in the U.S. began to accelerate in the 1990s. This database tracks those projects as closely as possible in order to monitor the progress of dam removal over time across the country, among other things. American Rivers welcomes any feedback, including missing dams (or information on those that have been rebuilt), at any time.



  • National Fish Habitat Partnership
  • USGS Chesapeake Bay


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