Dam Removal

Wynants Kill damMany fish use tributaries to the Hudson River as pathways to move between feeding, nursery, and spawning grounds. Unfortunately, thousands of dams, many built in the 19th and 20th Centuries are blocking those pathways and dramatically shrinking accessible habitat area, causing declines in fish and other wildlife. As the years have passed, these dams often no longer serve the purposes for which they were originally built and many have fallen into disrepair.

Riverkeeper is committed to restoring aquatic life to the Hudson River by ridding the river and its tributaries of the hundreds of obsolete dams that now serve only as impediments for the river’s fish, preventing them from reaching spawning habitat. Dam removal is critical to restoring biodiversity and the abundance of life in the Hudson.

We are determined to replenish the Hudson River’s native fish populations by improving fish passage and connectivity, and restoring the resiliency of the river and its natural functions. Over the next few years, we will enhance riverine stewardship on the Hudson and its tributaries, while also enhancing the ability of the surrounding watershed to withstand the threats of climate change.

Watch Undamming the Hudson River. A short documentary film by National Geographic filmmaker Jon Bowermaster showcasing Riverkeeper’s efforts to restore natural habitat by eliminating obsolete dams throughout the Hudson River Estuary.

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