Monday April 18, 2022


It’s the beginning of the end for the Eel River dams. On April 14, 2022, PG&E’s 50-year license for the Potter Valley Project dams expired and it will not be renewed. The company will soon begin the process of license surrender, decommissioning, and ultimately dam removal. This is an important first step in the long road we must travel until the dams are removed.

Out of the 1,400 dams in California, a great number are critical to keep our communities safe and operating. But many have outlived their functional lifespan and the ecosystem and economic benefits of removal far outweigh the cost of leaving them in place.

Restoration Hope for the Eel

Removing the Eel River dams (Scott and Cape Horn) would provide salmon, lamprey, and steelhead, including endangered summer steelhead, access to more than 280 miles of prime spawning and nursery habitat. Although the Eel River once boasted some of the largest salmon runs in California, the river’s salmon and steelhead populations are all listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Water quality throughout the Eel River is listed as impaired under the Clean Water Act for excessive sedimentation and high temperatures. 

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