Hundreds of communities nationally are struggling with decisions about whether to repair or remove old and obsolete dams. TU works to improve local decision-making processes by providing information and education on the potential benefits of small dam removal, and by encouraging that dam removal be considered as an option on its own merits. Where appropriate, TU advocates for the selective removal of old, obsolete and uneconomical dams as a cost-effective approach for restoring watershed health.
At the national level, TU's Small Dams Program operates an information clearinghouse on small dam issues. Staff develop publications and other resource materials, provide technical assistance, facilitate research, carry out demonstration projects, speak at professional and public meetings, and otherwise work to influence management and policy decisions involving small dam impacts on flowing waters. Staff work closely, and often in collaboration with volunteers, dam owners, natural resource managers, civic and business groups, decision-makers, other conservation and environmental organizations, and anyone else concerned with dams, fisheries, or naturally functioning river systems.
At the grassroots level, many TU chapters have been-and continue to be-actively involved with restoring rivers and streams through small dam removals. See the "Success Stories" area to learn about these efforts.
In this section, you'll find information about: