As Patagonia moves out of its Broken Rivers phase of the Our Common Waters environmental campaign, we wanted to take a look back at what was achieved in the last couple of years as it relates to broken rivers/dam removal. We often don’t take the time to consider these events during or after the course of our campaigns. So, with that in mind, please look at the following list of accomplishments that happened with the hard work of thousands of citizens across our land.
- Dams taken down in 2012: 53 and counting
- Major dams removed in Washington: 3 – The Condit Dam on the White Salmon River, Elwha Dam and Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River
- Size of the Glines Canyon Dam – in terms of all dams removed in human history: Largest, at 210 feet
- Number of miles of river habitat that Atlantic salmon will be able to access thanks to ongoing Penobscot River dam removals in Maine: 1,000
- Number of river herring traveling upriver on the Kennebec in Maine before removal of the Edwards Dam: 200,000
- Number of herring returning to the river after removal of the dam: 3 million
- Number of emails sent to members of Congress regarding Congressman Hasting’s "worst dam bill ever" to prevent federal funding for dam removal: over 8,000 (opposed)
- Number of actions taken, encouraging NOAA to continue funding the Community-based Restoration Program and the Open Rivers Initiative: 10,394 (since 2005 these government programs have removed dams and culverts, restored rivers and freed up passages for wild fish)
- Number of emails sent to protest two boondoggle dam and reservoir proposals on the Chattahoochee River, listed as one of the 10 Most Endangered Rivers of 2012 by American Rivers: 3,352
- Number of dams in the U.S. labeled “high” or “significant hazard” by the Army Corps of Engineers: over 26,000
For more, see all blog posts from the Our Common Waters campaign.
[Photo: Instructions for removal of the Matilija Dam, Ventura County, California. From "We're Just Getting Started: Elwha and Condit Establish Dam Removal Momentum"]