Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wave Of The Future? Dams As River Restoration

Date:
August 6, 2001
Source:
Ecological Society Of America
Summary:
For many years, society viewed dams as the wave of the future, providing hydroelectric power, water reserves and controlling floods. Now their removal, especially of older dams, appears to be the new trend. As dams are removed however, new issues begin to emerge, especially concerning the health of the river and all those affected upstream and downstream.

For many years, society viewed dams as the wave of the future, providing hydroelectric power, water reserves and controlling floods. Now their removal, especially of older dams, appears to be the new trend.

Related Articles


As dams are removed however, new issues begin to emerge, especially concerning the health of the river and all those affected upstream and downstream. Simply taking the dam down may not be enough, and scientists have begun examining the effects of dam removal on river ecosystems.

On Friday, August 10, 2001 a group of researchers will gather in a symposium to explore "Dam Removal as River Restorations: Linking Ecological, Engineering, Social and Legal Perspectives." Part of the Ecological Society of America's 86th Annual Meeting in Madison Wisconsin, the session combines the minds and ideas of ecologists, geologists, economists and several non-profit organizations.

David Hart from the Patrick Center for Environmental Research (PCER) will begin the session with a presentation entitled, "Dam removal: Challenges and opportunities for ecological research and watershed management." As interest in dam removal grows, researchers are presented with unique opportunities to examine the linkages between physical, chemical, and biological changes in river ecosystems.

Drawing upon their studies of dams and dam removal in Pennsylvania, Hart will propose methods to advance ecological understanding of dam removal and improve the scientific basis for dam removal decisions.

Society plays an important role in dam removal too, an aspect which Sara Johnson of Trout Unlimited will explore in her talk, "What's the big deal about small dams: Societal perspectives on dam removal." Beyond the decisions made by courts, public opinion inevitably plays a major role in determining whether a dam stays or goes.

Johnson suggests these decisions are based too often on incomplete information, and when combined with uncertainty the decision-making process can become highly emotional and divisive. Drawing upon the social sciences, including social psychology and communications, she will suggest methods to improve public understanding of dam removal. The potential roles for ecologists to affect social change around river restoration and dam removal will also be addressed.

Margaret Bowman of American Rivers will conclude the symposium with a presentation entitled, "Legal perspectives on dam removal." She will provide an outline of the legal issues associated with decisions about whether or not to remove a dam and decisions about how to remove a dam.

According to Bowman, many of the laws for dam removal focus on environmental protection, and can often discourage environmental restoration activities. The discussion will examine how environmental laws regarding restoration activities such as dam removal could adjust to better restore ecosystems.

Five other speakers will present information on topics ranging from river structure to the economic impacts of dam removal. Emily Stanley (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Stan Gregory (Oregon State University), and James Pizzuto (University of Delaware) will each explore how river features change with the removal of dams.

According to the scientists, the movement of built-up sediment impacts nutrient and water flow, habitat, and flood patterns. Patrick Shafroth (US Geological Survey) will describe dam removals' effects on river plants and Ed Whitelaw (ECONorthwest and the University of Oregon) will cover the economic effects of tearing down dams.

For more information about this symposium, and all ESA Annual Meeting activities, visit the ESA website: http://esa.sdsc.edu/madison. Held in scenic Madison, Wisconsin the theme of the meeting is "Keeping all the Parts." Over 3,000 scientists are expected to attend.

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is a scientific, non-profit, 7,800-member organization founded in 1915. Through ESA reports, journals, membership research, and expert testimony to Congress, ESA seeks to promote the responsible application of ecological data and principles to the solution of environmental problems. ESA publishes three scientific, peer-reviewed journals: Ecology, Ecological Applications, and Ecological Monographs. Information about the Society and its activities is published in the Society's quarterly newsletter, ESA NewSource, and in the quarterly Bulletin. More information can be found on the ESA website: http://esa.sdsc.edu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ecological Society Of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ecological Society Of America. "Wave Of The Future? Dams As River Restoration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010806074412.htm>.
Ecological Society Of America. (2001, August 6). Wave Of The Future? Dams As River Restoration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010806074412.htm
Ecological Society Of America. "Wave Of The Future? Dams As River Restoration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010806074412.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indictments in West Virginia Chemical Spill Case

Indictments in West Virginia Chemical Spill Case

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A grand jury indicted four former executives of Freedom Industries, the company at the center of the Jan. 9, 2014 chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia. The spill contaminated the Elk River and the water supply of 300,000 people. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uphill Battle to Tackle Indonesian Shark Fishing

Uphill Battle to Tackle Indonesian Shark Fishing

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Sharks are hauled ashore every day at a busy market on the central Indonesian island of Lombok, the hub of a booming trade that provides a livelihood for local fishermen but is increasingly alarming environmentalists. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
France's Sauternes Wine Threatened by New Train Line

France's Sauternes Wine Threatened by New Train Line

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) Winemakers in southwestern France's Bordeaux are concerned about a proposed high speed train line that could affect the microclimate required for the region's sweet wine. Duration: 01:06 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins