World Water Day 2024: Peacebuilding through Dam Removal

This Friday, March 22, is World Water Day. Each year, the United Nations marks the day, March 22, by highlighting the importance of freshwater and the need for more collaborative and sustainable water management. The theme for this year’s global observance is “Water for Peace.” That plea seems apt. Around the world, we see ample […]

A timely boost in the science of dam removal and river recovery

Over a period of several months, two dozen papers on dam removal and river restoration are being published in a single edition of the online journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. This tranche of papers represents a significant advance in the science behind dam removals. The timing is superb, as publishing coincides with removal of […]

Dam removal supports California’s 30×30 Goals

OPINION published in Capitol Weekly , November 7, 2023, by Julie Turrini – California has hundreds of outdated dams, small and large, that no longer serve a function. These obsolete dams litter our rivers and streams, block fish passage, and create costly liabilities to communities. We need to accelerate our pace of dam removal as […]

Documentary Spotlights Partnerships in Dam Removal

To celebrate its first five years of work, Open Rivers Fund—a program of Resources Legacy Fund, launched in November 2016 with a 10-year, $50-million investment from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation—worked with film director Jason Jaacks to produce a documentary highlighting several dynamic dam removal projects and partnerships that are reshaping waterways across the American […]

Restoring the Klamath River: Science informs where future runs may go

On November 17 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the Final License Surrender Order for the Lower Klamath River Hydroelectric Project. With this final regulatory hurdle now crossed, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation and its local Tribal and nonprofit partners can remove the four lower Klamath River Dams located on both sides of the […]

Acoustic Tagging to Prepare for the Return of Klamath Spring-Run Chinook Salmon

For more than a century, four large dams on the Upper Klamath River have blocked spring-run Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, Pacific lamprey, and other species from their native spawning grounds. The absence of those species has affected the biology of the river and the culture of the communities along it in Northern California and Southern […]

Surveys show support for Nelson Dam removal and tips on talking about dams

Nelson Dam, a century-old concrete structure that outlived its usefulness, spans the Naches River in Yakima, Washington. It blocks fish passage for much of the year and presents safety risks for the City of Yakima. After years of planning, Nelson Dam is coming down this fall. Earlier this year, when the dam’s fate was still […]

Real collaboration and real progress: the Bear River watershed

Earlier this summer, I spent three days on an inspiring tour of the Bear River watershed, hosted by Open Rivers Fund grantee, Western Native Trout Initiative (WTNI). WNTI is a collaborative partnership of public agencies, conservation-minded organizations, and private individuals focused on protecting 21 species of native trout and char across 12 western states—including the […]

Chris In The Creek: An Ethnographic Approach To Community Based Monitoring

Western Montana’s Rattlesnake Creek and its many relations – human and more-than-human – are at the heart of our ongoing research-practice partnership between Watershed Education Network (WEN) and the UC Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science. As part of this partnership, I was fortunate enough to visit Missoula this past summer to collect data […]

A bold plan for salmon, clean energy and jobs in the Pacific Northwest

Two summers ago, I floated the Middle Fork Salmon, in the heart of Idaho’s Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness. The trip had everything, spectacular scenery, great fishing, wonderful companions. The only thing missing was abundant salmon and steelhead which, before the construction of the four lower Snake River dams, made the 800 mile journey […]