Category Archives: Dam

For now, river deltas gain land worldwide

Nile Delta Desert Islands
Nile Delta Desert Islands, batik on silk by © Mary Edna Fraser
52” x 36”, 1999

Excerpts;

Researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and colleagues found that delta areas worldwide have actually gained land in the past 30 years, despite river damming. However, recent land gains are unlikely to last throughout the 21st century due to expected, accelerated sea level rise. The researchers published their findings in the journal Nature.

River deltas rank among the most economically and ecologically valuable environments on Earth. People living on deltas are increasingly vulnerable to sea-level rise and coastal hazards such as major storms, extremely high tides, and tsunamis. Many deltas experience a decline in sediment supply due to upstream damming, making them even more vulnerable. However, the new study found that long-term, large-scale, upstream deforestation has resulted in soil erosion that increased the amount of sediment transported to many deltas…

Read Full Article, WHOI (01-23-2020)

Chinese paddlefish extinct after surviving 150 million years

dam-construction-china
Chinese companies and Chinese banks are now the biggest builders and financiers of global dam building. Chinese banks and companies are involved in some 307 dams in 74 different countries, particularly in Africa and Southeast Asia, including Kamchay Dam (Cambodia), Bakun Dam (Sarawak, Malaysia), Myitsone Dam (Burma) and Merowe Dam (Sudan). Captions and Photo source: ©© International Rivers

Excerpts;

The Chinese paddlefish — one of the world’s largest freshwater fish — has officially been declared extinct after surviving some 150 million years.

The giant species, which measured as long as 23 feet and weighed as much as 1,100 pounds, has been killed off by overfishing and dam construction…

Read Full Article; NY Post (01-09-2020)

China’s Great Dam Boom: A Major Assault; Yale E360 (12-08-2013)
China is engaged in a push to build hydroelectric dams on a scale unprecedented in human history. While being touted for producing lower-emission electricity, these massive dam projects are wreaking havoc on river systems across China and Southeast Asia…

Small Dams On Chinese River Harm Environment More Than Expected, study finds, NSF (05-30-2013)

Himalayas to Become The Most Dammed Region In The World, IPS News

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Turkey’s Dam-Building Spree Continues, At Steep Ecological Cost

elwha-dam-2011
Elwha River Dam, the largest dam removal project ever attempted in the U.S, 2011. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Nearly 90 miles of the historic Tigris River will soon be turned into a vast reservoir as Turkey completes the massive Ilisu Dam. While the government touts the project as a source of carbon-free electricity, it will displace 80,000 people and threaten a host of species…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (10-03-2019)

The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, A Video from Todd Southgate (05-26-2016)
Though large hydropower projects are often presented as a “clean and green” source of energy, nothing could be further from the truth…

In an era of extreme weather, concerns grow over dam safety; Yale E360 (07-09-2019)
Many of the United States’ 91,000 dams are aging and sorely in need of repairs that could collectively cost tens of billions of dollars. Experts are increasingly worried that as extreme precipitation events increase, dams are at greater risk of failure, threatening lives and posing environmental risks…

Unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs; Science Daily (11-13-2018)
An international team of drought scientists show that while many dams and reservoirs are built, or expanded, to alleviate droughts and water shortages, they can paradoxically contribute to making them worse…

Hydropower, innovations and avoiding international dam shame; Science Daily (11-05-2018)
The benefits of energy from dams no longer outweigh the social and environmental costs that damming up rivers brings about…

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Dams – Cutting off our Beach Sand; By Gary Griggs (12-19-2014)

Sweetwater Authority eyes sand mining, material dredging opportunities, CA


Sediment trapped by dam, Elwha river. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The board of the Sweetwater Authority is interested in sand mining and material dredging opportunities in and around the South Bay water agency’s two reservoirs.

The agency, which serves National City, Bonita and parts of Chula Vista, plans to solicit interest from sand mining companies to explore the concept…

Read Full Article; The San Diego Union Tribune (09-22-2019)

Dams – Cutting off our Beach Sand; By Gary Griggs (12-19-2014)

The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, A Video from Todd Southgate (05-26-2016)
Though large hydropower projects are often presented as a “clean and green” source of energy, nothing could be further from the truth…

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Cemex mine reflects human hunger for sand, California; Monterey County Now (01-14-2016)
The disappearance of the beach reflects an alarming reality: Southern Monterey Bay, Marina in particular, has the highest coastal erosion rate in the state of California. For more than 20 years, scientists have speculated about the sand mine’s contribution to that erosion rate, and a 2008 study concluded it was the primary cause. The Cemex mine in Marina is the only remaining coastal sand mine in the entire United States. Which leads to new questions…

An Evaluation of the Ongoing Impacts of Sand Mining at the CEMEX Lapis Sand Plant in Marina, California on the Southern Monterey Bay Shoreline; By Robert S. Young, PhD; (05-29-2017)
The City of Marina commissioned this report to assist in its management and decision‐making for coastal property and resources within the City’s jurisdiction. This report provides a review and synthesis of available documentary information and scientific literature addressing the impact of current sand mining activities within southern Monterey Bay…

Controversial beachfront sand mining operation along Monterey Bay to close; The Mercury News (06-27-2017)

Monterey Bay, California: Beach Sand Mining from a National Marine Sanctuary; By Gary Griggs (09-01-2014)
The 30-mile long, continuous sandy shoreline around Monterey Bay is the most visited stretch of shoreline on the central coast. Yet, it holds the dubious distinction of being the only active beach sand mining operation along the entire United States shoreline. To make matters even worse, it all takes place along the shoreline of a protected National Marine Sanctuary. Something is seriously wrong with this picture…

The Conservation Crisis No One Is Talking About, By John R. Platt, TakePart (09-21-2016)
Beaches around the world are disappearing. No, the cause isn’t sea-level rise, at least not this time. It’s a little-known but enormous industry called sand mining, which every year sucks up billions of tons of sand from beaches, ocean floors, and rivers to make everything from concrete to microchips to toothpaste…

Corporate Sand Mining In SF Bay Sparks ‘Sand Wars’; CBS Bay Area (11-13-2018)
Six years ago, nonprofit environmental advocacy organization San Francisco Baykeeper sued sand-mining firm Hanson Marine Operations and the State Lands Commission to stop sand mining in the Bay. However, in November, an appeals court judge sided with the State Lands Commission and the sand mining company…

California sand-mining company prevails in lawsuit; Mazzarella Law (11-13-2018)

State sued over sand mining in San Francisco Bay, California; East Bay Times (01-31-2017)

Sand Mining in SF Bay Dealt Blow by State Appeals Court, SF Examiner (11-18-2015)
A California appeals court has ruled that sand in the San Francisco Bay must be considered a public trust resource, potentially challenging the practice of mining for sand in the Bay that’s in turn used in construction projects. Wednesday’s ruling in the lawsuit between San Francisco Baykeeper and the California State Lands Commission in the California 1st District Court of Appeal is considered a major victory by environmental advocates who have argued sand mining contributes to erosion at Ocean Beach and threatens the Bay’s ecosystem.

Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report (GEA-March 2014)
Despite the colossal quantities of sand and gravel being used, our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment, this issue has been mostly ignored by policy makers and remains largely unknown by the general public.
In March 2014 The United Nations released its first Report about Sand Mining: “Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks.”
“Sand Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013 in its french version: “Le Sable: enquête sur une disparition”, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Mutlti-Awards Winner Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (©-2013)

Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care

Seldom Seen: A Poignant Look Back at Glen Canyon Before the Dam


Sediment trapped, Elwha river. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Ken Sleight remembers the stunning beauty of Glen Canyon before it was flooded by a massive dam in the 1960s. Taylor Graham’s film “Seldom Seen Sleight” – winner of the Yale Environment 360 Video Contest – shows the magnificent landscape lost and offers hope it might someday be restored…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (08-15-2019)

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Elwha, The Grand Experiment (11-12-2012)

On The Elwha, A New Life When The Dam Breaks
Nobody figured the largest dam removal project ever attempted in the U.S. was going to be easy, or fast.The nation’s largest and most ambitious dam removal will begin this month, when workers start demolishing two antique dams on Washington state’s Elwha River…

Undamming Rivers: A Chance For New Clean Energy Source; Yale E360 (08-07-2015)
Hydroelectric power is often touted as clean energy, but this claim is true only in the narrow sense of not causing air pollution. In many places, such as the U.S. East Coast, hydroelectric dams have damaged the ecological integrity of nearly every major river…

1000 Dams Down and Counting: Dam Removal Study Reveals River Resiliency; USGS (05-02-2015)

In an era of extreme weather, concerns grow over dam safety; Yale E360 (07-09-2019)
Many of the United States’ 91,000 dams are aging and sorely in need of repairs that could collectively cost tens of billions of dollars. Experts are increasingly worried that as extreme precipitation events increase, dams are at greater risk of failure, threatening lives and posing environmental risks…

Unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs; Science Daily (11-13-2018)
An international team of drought scientists show that while many dams and reservoirs are built, or expanded, to alleviate droughts and water shortages, they can paradoxically contribute to making them worse…

Hydropower, innovations and avoiding international dam shame; Science Daily (11-05-2018)
The benefits of energy from dams no longer outweigh the social and environmental costs that damming up rivers brings about…

The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, A Video from Todd Southgate (05-26-2016)
Though large hydropower projects are often presented as a “clean and green” source of energy, nothing could be further from the truth…

Mega Dams Remain Controversial Source of Energy; IPS News (06-09-2016)

Large Dams Just Aren’t Worth the Cost, The New York Times (10-25-2014)

Small Dams On Chinese River Harm Environment More Than Expected, study finds, NSF (05-30-2013)

Dams – Cutting off our Beach Sand; By Gary Griggs (12-19-2014)

In an era of extreme weather, concerns grow over dam safety

elwha-dam
Elwha Dam removal, 2011. The largest dam-removal project in U.S. history. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

Many of the United States’ 91,000 dams are aging and sorely in need of repairs that could collectively cost tens of billions of dollars. Experts are increasingly worried that as extreme precipitation events increase, dams are at greater risk of failure, threatening lives and posing environmental risks…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (07-09-2019)

Unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs; Science Daily (11-13-2018)
An international team of drought scientists show that while many dams and reservoirs are built, or expanded, to alleviate droughts and water shortages, they can paradoxically contribute to making them worse…

Hydropower, innovations and avoiding international dam shame; Science Daily (11-05-2018)
The benefits of energy from dams no longer outweigh the social and environmental costs that damming up rivers brings about…

The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, A Video from Todd Southgate (05-26-2016)
Though large hydropower projects are often presented as a “clean and green” source of energy, nothing could be further from the truth…

Mega Dams Remain Controversial Source of Energy; IPS News (06-09-2016)

Undamming Rivers: A Chance For New Clean Energy Source; Yale E360 (08-07-2015)
Hydroelectric power is often touted as clean energy, but this claim is true only in the narrow sense of not causing air pollution. In many places, such as the U.S. East Coast, hydroelectric dams have damaged the ecological integrity of nearly every major river…

1000 Dams Down and Counting: Dam Removal Study Reveals River Resiliency; USGS (05-02-2015)

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Elwha, The Grand Experiment (11-12-2012)

On The Elwha, A New Life When The Dam Breaks
Nobody figured the largest dam removal project ever attempted in the U.S. was going to be easy, or fast.The nation’s largest and most ambitious dam removal will begin this month, when workers start demolishing two antique dams on Washington state’s Elwha River…

Dam projects on world’s largest rivers threaten ecosystems, rural livelihoods; Science Daily (01-08-2016)

12 Dams that Changed the World, Guardian UK (01-13-2015)

Large Dams Just Aren’t Worth the Cost, The New York Times (10-25-2014)

Small Dams On Chinese River Harm Environment More Than Expected, study finds, NSF (05-30-2013)

Dams – Cutting off our Beach Sand; By Gary Griggs (12-19-2014)

After a Long Boom, an Uncertain Future for Big Dam Projects


Grootdraai dam, South Africa. Photo source: ©© Jan Truter

Excerpts;

The rise of wind and solar power, coupled with the increasing social, environmental and financial costs of hydropower projects, could spell the end of an era of big dams. But even anti-dam activists say it’s too early to declare the demise of large-scale hydro…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (11-27-2018)

Unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs; Science Daily (11-13-2018)
An international team of drought scientists show that while many dams and reservoirs are built, or expanded, to alleviate droughts and water shortages, they can paradoxically contribute to making them worse…

Hydropower, innovations and avoiding international dam shame; Science Daily (11-05-2018)
The benefits of energy from dams no longer outweigh the social and environmental costs that damming up rivers brings about…

The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, A Video from Todd Southgate (05-26-2016)
Though large hydropower projects are often presented as a “clean and green” source of energy, nothing could be further from the truth…

Mega Dams Remain Controversial Source of Energy; IPS News (06-09-2016)

Undamming Rivers: A Chance For New Clean Energy Source; Yale E360 (08-07-2015)
Hydroelectric power is often touted as clean energy, but this claim is true only in the narrow sense of not causing air pollution. In many places, such as the U.S. East Coast, hydroelectric dams have damaged the ecological integrity of nearly every major river…

1000 Dams Down and Counting: Dam Removal Study Reveals River Resiliency; USGS (05-02-2015)

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Elwha, The Grand Experiment (11-12-2012)

On The Elwha, A New Life When The Dam Breaks
Nobody figured the largest dam removal project ever attempted in the U.S. was going to be easy, or fast.The nation’s largest and most ambitious dam removal will begin this month, when workers start demolishing two antique dams on Washington state’s Elwha River…

Dam projects on world’s largest rivers threaten ecosystems, rural livelihoods; Science Daily (01-08-2016)

12 Dams that Changed the World, Guardian UK (01-13-2015)

Large Dams Just Aren’t Worth the Cost, The New York Times (10-25-2014)

Small Dams On Chinese River Harm Environment More Than Expected, study finds, NSF (05-30-2013)

Dams – Cutting off our Beach Sand; By Gary Griggs (12-19-2014)

Unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs


Sediment trapped, Elwha river. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

An international team of drought scientists show that while many dams and reservoirs are built, or expanded, to alleviate droughts and water shortages, they can paradoxically contribute to making them worse…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (11-13-2018)

Hydropower, innovations and avoiding international dam shame; Science Daily (11-05-2018)
The benefits of energy from dams no longer outweigh the social and environmental costs that damming up rivers brings about…

The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, A Video from Todd Southgate (05-26-2016)
Though large hydropower projects are often presented as a “clean and green” source of energy, nothing could be further from the truth…

Mega Dams Remain Controversial Source of Energy; IPS News (06-09-2016)

Undamming Rivers: A Chance For New Clean Energy Source; Yale E360 (08-07-2015)
Hydroelectric power is often touted as clean energy, but this claim is true only in the narrow sense of not causing air pollution. In many places, such as the U.S. East Coast, hydroelectric dams have damaged the ecological integrity of nearly every major river…

1000 Dams Down and Counting: Dam Removal Study Reveals River Resiliency; USGS (05-02-2015)

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Elwha, The Grand Experiment (11-12-2012)

On The Elwha, A New Life When The Dam Breaks
Nobody figured the largest dam removal project ever attempted in the U.S. was going to be easy, or fast.The nation’s largest and most ambitious dam removal will begin this month, when workers start demolishing two antique dams on Washington state’s Elwha River…

Dam projects on world’s largest rivers threaten ecosystems, rural livelihoods; Science Daily (01-08-2016)

12 Dams that Changed the World, Guardian UK (01-13-2015)

Large Dams Just Aren’t Worth the Cost, The New York Times (10-25-2014)

Small Dams On Chinese River Harm Environment More Than Expected, study finds, NSF (05-30-2013)

Dams – Cutting off our Beach Sand; By Gary Griggs (12-19-2014)

Hydropower, innovations and avoiding international dam shame

elwha-dam
Elwha Dam removal, 2011. The largest dam-removal project in U.S. history. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

For hydropower to continue to make a contribution to sustainable energy it needs to consider from the outset the true costs, social, environmental and cultural that may be involved, and include those in the pricing of the infrastructure, including the eventual removal of the dam, rather than pass those on to the public in 30 years.

“The benefits of energy from dams no longer outweigh the social and environmental costs that damming up rivers brings about…”

Read Full Article; Science Daily (11-05-2018)

The Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, A Video from Todd Southgate (05-26-2016)
Though large hydropower projects are often presented as a “clean and green” source of energy, nothing could be further from the truth…

Mega Dams Remain Controversial Source of Energy; IPS News (06-09-2016)

Undamming Rivers: A Chance For New Clean Energy Source; Yale E360 (08-07-2015)
Hydroelectric power is often touted as clean energy, but this claim is true only in the narrow sense of not causing air pollution. In many places, such as the U.S. East Coast, hydroelectric dams have damaged the ecological integrity of nearly every major river…

1000 Dams Down and Counting: Dam Removal Study Reveals River Resiliency; USGS (05-02-2015)

DamNation; a Documentary That’s Testing the Waters of Corporate Social Responsibility; Produced by Stoecker Ecological and Felt Soul Media” and presented by Patagonia.

Elwha, The Grand Experiment (11-12-2012)

On The Elwha, A New Life When The Dam Breaks
Nobody figured the largest dam removal project ever attempted in the U.S. was going to be easy, or fast.The nation’s largest and most ambitious dam removal will begin this month, when workers start demolishing two antique dams on Washington state’s Elwha River…

Dam projects on world’s largest rivers threaten ecosystems, rural livelihoods; Science Daily (01-08-2016)

12 Dams that Changed the World, Guardian UK (01-13-2015)

Large Dams Just Aren’t Worth the Cost, The New York Times (10-25-2014)

Small Dams On Chinese River Harm Environment More Than Expected, study finds, NSF (05-30-2013)

Dams – Cutting off our Beach Sand; By Gary Griggs (12-19-2014)