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Started by Woolly Bugger, May 02, 2020, 06:57:09 AM
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Dammed, drugged, poisoned: Shad, eels and smallmouth bass struggle to survive in Susquehanna River
>>>Three troubled speciesWhat's changed is that civilization has caught up with the smallmouth bass.
The fish are among the species that call the river their home — along with American shad and eel — that have been most affected by human activity. The species are very different, and the challenges they face are varied, but one thing is certain: Their numbers are not what they used to be, and that is a reflection of the health of the watershed.
Shad and eel — species that migrate to spawn — are hampered by the four large hydroelectric dams on the lower section of the river, from the Conowingo near the river's mouth in the south, to Holtwood, Safe Harbor and York Haven dam, respectively, to the north. The dams, in addition to causing problems with sediment, impede the migration of the shad and eel, migration that is essential for the fish to propagate.
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'The stars are aligned': Rep. Mike Simpson breaks down plan to breach Snake River dams
Major Fish Passage Barrier to Be Addressed on the Chehalis River
>>>BOONE — The Ward Mill Dam just a few miles from Boone has been removed in what the MountainTrue's Watauga Riverkeeper Andy Hill calls a "huge win for local aquatic wildlife."
The dam was removed on May 16 after five days of demolition.
The first dam was constructed at the location in 1890 and improved upon over the years. The mill complex served the community for generations providing electricity, jobs, firewood and building materials. The dam had also been an obstacle for local aquatic wildlife for the past 130 years, according to the Watauga Riverkeeper.
Now, native fish such as the tangerine darter and threatened salamanders like the hellbender will be reunited and benefit from a reconnected and improved cold-water aquatic habitat.
Walton's Mill Dam removal project moves forwardWith dam removal, the site may become one of the one places in Maine where people can view Atlantic salmon leaping upstream.
The dam removal is part of a larger project in partnership with the Atlantic Salmon Federation approved by voters in November 2018. In addition to the dam removal and park improvements, the project includes replacing two road-stream crossings along Clover Mill Road.
I have mixed feelings on dams. In situations where major spawning runs of anadromous fish like salmon and steelhead use the rivers, I think they do a lot more harm than good. Same with rivers where dams block runs of freshwater fish such as lake sturgeon, paddlefish, pikeminnows, and such. In a lot of places in our area, though, I think a most of the reservoirs are some of the major hubs of biodiversity in the region. Reservoirs have fueled the return of the bald eagle and osprey, and serve as habitat for lots of fish, waterfowl that are having a tough time, as well as threatened plants and plant communities. Life is lush and intense around a lake, much more so than around most of the undammed stretches of river. Not to mention clean energy.
California Regulator Advances Historic Dam Removal ProjectThe decision by California's public utility regulator will help move forward a plan to demolish four Klamath River dams to help restore endangered salmon populations on the California-Oregon border.
>>>The largest dam removal project in U.S. history came one step closer to fruition Thursday with a California regulator's approval of a plan to transfer ownership licenses for four Klamath River dams.
"Our decision today is another step forward to advance this historic dam removal project," said Marybel Batjer, president of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
How Removing One Maine Dam 20 Years Ago Changed EverythingThe removal of the Edwards Dam on Maine's Kennebec River helped river conservationists reimagine what's possible.
But most importantly the demolition signaled a shift in thinking about how we balance environmental and economic interests — and that had a ripple effect.
"It was the first big dam that came out that demonstrated to the country that our rivers had other values beyond industrial use," says John Burrows, director of New England Programs for the Atlantic Salmon Federation, which was a key player in the dam-removal effort. "It helped folks recognize that our rivers, which we've not taken good care of for several hundred years, could be a different asset for communities. And for society."
The dirty dam truthHydropower is often marketed as the kind of clean, renewable energy we're supposed to want. It's what dam developers have been claiming for decades. But a growing body of scientific research shows just the opposite.
>>>The Biden administration has taken unprecedented action to confront climate change during its first months in office, from reentering the Paris Agreement on day one to announcing an ambitious greenhouse gas emissions target. But as the president works with Congress to pass the American Jobs Plan, he has an opportunity to address an equally important but often overlooked aspect of the climate crisis: dams and hydropower. They contribute to climate change, send species to extinction, and displace communities. Dams are destructive relics of the past and have no place in an America vying to be a leader in clean energy, water sustainability, and environmental protection while creating the jobs of the future.
In Massachusetts, the recent removal of three dams on the Mill River reconnected more than 30 miles of blocked fish habitat, reduced the risk of flooding, and removed public safety hazards. At Patagonia, we're proud to stand with Indigenous communities in opposing Hydro-Québec's plan to build a 145-mile hydroelectric transmission line from Canada to Lewiston, Maine, through ancestral territories and carbon-capturing forests — while advertising it to Massachusetts electricity ratepayers as a climate solution. We also support efforts by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, other environmental groups, and state agencies there to remove four dams on the Kennebec River that threaten the survival of endangered Atlantic salmon.
25 Dams to Watch in 2022We curated the following list of 25 dam removal projects to highlight opportunities to watch out for in 2022.
>>>As part of "Free Rivers: the state of dam removal in the U.S.", American Rivers is spotlighting 25 projects to watch for 2022 and beyond.
Thousands of dams need to come down in the U.S., and there are opportunities for river restoration at every size and scale. American Rivers curated the following list of 25 dam removal projects to illustrate examples and highlight opportunities of the types of dam removal projects that exist across the country.
"The related crises of climate change, racial injustice, and biodiversity loss are further degrading our rivers and require us to accelerate river restoration through dam removals nationwide," said Tom Kiernan, President of American Rivers.
Eel River Dam Removal is Moving Forward. It Will Create California's Longest Free-Flowing River.
>>>On Thursday, PG&E's 50-year license for the Eel River Dams expired, with the company opting against renewing the costly Potter Valley Project (PVP). After the license is surrendered and the project is decommissioned, the long road to removing the Eel River Dams will begin, eventually creating California's longest free-flowing river.
The PVP is a hydroelectric system consisting of two dams, a diversion tunnel and a powerhouse on the Eel River. When old dams come due for relicensing, they are required to meet 21st century standards for fish passage. Upgrading these ancient structures comes with enormous cost, so much so that it is often cheaper to just remove the dams entirely. That's why PG&E has opted to abandon the outdated structures.
According to CalTrout, "The Eel represents perhaps the greatest opportunity in California to restore a watershed to its former abundance of wild salmonids."
Biden admin rolls out $38 million for fish passage
The Biden administration plans to release $38 million in fiscal year 2022 to help fund 40 "shovel-ready" fish passage projects in 23 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, the U.S. Department of Interior announced this month. And, over the next five years, using money from the recently passed infrastructure legislation, Interior will push about $200 million toward fish-passage projects through the National Fish Passage Program.
"Across the country, millions of barriers block fish migration and put communities at higher risk of flooding," said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. "[The infrastructure law] provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in our nation's rivers, streams and communities and help restore habitat connectivity for aquatic species around the country."
AP Analysis finds growing number of high risk dams in US
Constructed four generations ago, the massive rock and clay dam at El Capitan Reservoir is capable of storing over 36 billion gallons of water, enough to supply every resident in San Diego for most of a year.
Today, it's three-quarters empty, intentionally kept low because of concerns it could fail under the strain of too much water.
During "a big earthquake, you never know what's going to happen, if this is going to hold," said Samuel Santos, a longtime resident who frequently fishes near the dam
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Indigenous carvers' totem pole to journey across Pacific Northwest to bolster dam-removal movement
The totem pole, the work of Native carvers, is part of the Spirit of the Waters journey to the Snake River in Idaho, making stops in communities in Washington and Oregon. It's due in Seattle on May 19.
The journey, funded by nonprofits, foundations and other partners, is being undertaken to build momentum for a Native-led movement for the removal of the four Lower Snake River dams to rebuild salmon runs and to help the southern resident killer whales that depend on them.
In stops with the totem pole all along the way, Native youth, spiritual and political leaders will speak in public forums about the centrality of water and salmon to the health of all life in the region, for generations uncounted.