Communities Improving Public Safety through River Restoration

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Serena McClain, 202-347-7550
Amy Kober, 206-898-3864

Communities Improving Public Safety through River Restoration

WASHINGTON - American Rivers today released the new film, "Restoring America's
Rivers: Preparing for the Future," which tells the inspiring story of
how community leaders around the country are improving public safety and
solving problems like flooding by restoring rivers and working with
nature, not against it.

The film examines four communities in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and
Washington where dams are being removed and levees set back in an
effort to restore floodplains and give rivers room to spread out, while
making communities safer and more resilient to weather extremes, and
restoring vital habitat for fish and wildlife.

"These communities realized that the best, most cost-effective way to
reduce flood damage and improve public safety was to remove outdated
dams and restore the rivers," said Serena McClain, associate director of
river restoration for American Rivers. "Our goal is for every mayor in
the country to see this film. We hope the stories will spur them to
explore river restoration in their own communities."

American Rivers is a national leader in removing outdated and unsafe
dams. More than 800 dam removals have been recorded nationwide, with
multiple benefits to communities including improved public safety,
reduced flooding, better recreation, and revitalized fish and wildlife
habitat. American Rivers helps communities remove unneeded dams by
providing educational, technical, and financial assistance. 

Explore dam removal projects on an interactive map at http://www.americanrivers.org/restorationmap

"Restoring America's Rivers: Preparing for the Future" features four
river restoration projects in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and
Washington:

Maxwell Pond Dam, Black Brook, New Hampshire

The City of Manchester, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental
Services, and others partnered to remove Maxwell Pond Dam from Black
Brook, a tributary of the Merrimack River, in winter 2009. The dam
removal improved overall water quality, allowing Black Brook to be
removed from the state's "impaired waters" list, and helped protect city
infrastructure from flood damage. The project also restored eight miles
of free-flowing river for alewife, blueback herring, Atlantic salmon,
and other migratory fish. The city is planning a major park
revitalization effort to complement the new free-flowing stream.

Harmony Junction Dam, Connoquenessing Creek, Pennsylvania

This 8.5-foot tall by 153-foot long concrete dam was originally built
in 1915 for industrial purposes. The dam was purchased by the Wild
Waterways Conservancy for the purposes of removing it in order to
reconnect the floodplain for better flood protection, as well as to
improve water quality and safety for canoeing and kayaking. The dam
removal also restored 15 miles of habitat for fish and wildlife.

Wolf Creek Dam, Wolf Creek, Pennsylvania

This 12-foot high cement dam blocked Wolf Creek in the center of
downtown Grove City and abutted the property of Grove City College. It
was removed to alleviate liability, flooding, and to improve fish
habitat. Follow-up plans include turning the former impoundment into a
recreation area for the college.

Green, Cedar and Tolt rivers, King County, Washington

In an effort to reduce flood risk and improve habitat for endangered
salmon, King County has undertaken a number of levee setbacks and levee
removals in the Green, Cedar and Tolt River watersheds. By moving people
out of harm's way and giving the river more room to meander, the county
is improving flood protection s well as the health of the river and its
salmon runs.

 

The film was produced by American Rivers and Green Fire Productions
with funding from the Colcom Foundation, the Sarah K. DeCoizart Article
TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust, and the Richard King Mellon
Foundation.

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American Rivers is the only national organization standing up for healthy rivers so our communities can thrive. Through national advocacy, innovative solutions and our growing network of strategic partners, we protect and promote our rivers as valuable assets that are vital to our health, safety and quality of life.

Founded in 1973, American Rivers has more than 65,000 members and supporters nationwide, with offices in Washington, DC and the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, California and Northwest regions.

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