Friday May 12, 2023

American Society of Civil Engineers

Initial construction recently began on the long-awaited effort to remove four hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River in southern Oregon and Northern California. Draining a watershed of nearly 16,000 sq mi, the Klamath is California’s second-largest river in terms of average discharge and provides critical habitat for anadromous fish species, which migrate from freshwater rivers to the ocean and back.

Involving the simultaneous removal of the four dams and restoration of more than 2,000 acres of land, the estimated $450 million project is one of the most significant dam removal efforts in U.S. history, according to the Klamath River Renewal Corp., an independent nonprofit organization created in 2016 to oversee the removal process.

The culmination of a regulatory and legal process that has extended nearly two decades, the project aims to improve environmental conditions along the Klamath River and enable key fish species to regain access to hundreds of stream miles, some of which have been closed off for more than a century.

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