Dam Removal

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By removing old, obsolete dams, Riverkeeper is working to restore life to creeks and streams in the Hudson Valley.

A great wildlife migration, unseen by most of us, brings river herring, striped bass, American shad, Atlantic sturgeon and other species into the Hudson every year to renew their populations. Tiny eels drift in from their birthplace, the Sargasso Sea. These seasonal forces are powerful beyond imagination.

But here’s the sad truth: Almost every population is in decline. Some species are vanishing. We harvested too many fish, destroyed too much habitat, dumped too much poison, and dammed too many streams.

In the Hudson Valley, we have an enormous opportunity to help some of these fish rebound. By removing dams that no longer serve a purpose, we can reopen vital spawning grounds, revive the web of life, and allow nature to heal and flourish.

Riverkeeper is working to identify and remove dams where such opportunities exist.

About 1,600 dams, most of them obsolete and many hidden from view, fragment the rivers and streams of the Hudson Valley. Our landmark success at Wynants Kill – a dam removal project by Riverkeeper, the City of Troy and the state Department of Environmental Conservation in 2016 – was just the start. Within days of the removal, thousands of river herring were moving upstream to spawn for the first time in 85 years.

Riverkeeper plans to take down two dams in 2020 in Westchester and Orange counties. The City of Troy is talking about removing additional dams. We’re forming partnerships all along the way. This is only the start – but every success will lead to greater success.

Join us in healing the Hudson.

Watch “Undamming the Hudson River,” above, and talk to your neighbors. Talk about what’s possible. And click below to receive updates and get involved.

Join the dam movement >

It’s not just a cute slogan. Our goal is to inspire you to be part of this effort, and inspire others to be part of it too. Riverkeeper can’t take down these dams alone. It will take teamwork among communities, neighbors, property owners and agencies.

Attend a screening: Our next event is Monday, March 23 in Briarcliff Manor. Watch our events page for more.

Read The New York Times: It’s Fish vs. Dams, and the Dams Are Winning
Thousands of dams across New York, many abandoned, are blocking fish migrations.
A movement to remove them is growing >

Have a question? Write to us at info@riverkeeper.org. Please include “Dam info” in the subject line.

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