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Dam Removal and River Restoration

Formally Refereed
Authors: Jeffrey Duda, James Bellmore
Year: 2022
Type: Miscellaneous
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
Source: Encyclopedia of Inland Waters, Elsevier. 2:576-585.


The removal of dams from rivers has become a common and widespread practice in the United States and Europe. Although often initiated by factors like economics and safety, ecosystem restoration is often a desired benefit and outcome of dam removal. We describe the physical and ecological effects that the placement and removal of dams have on rivers. We then focus on the drivers of dam removal, present considerations for undertaking a dam removal project, and discuss case-studies and recent syntheses describing the ecological outcomes of dam removal.


Connectivity, disturbance, fish passage, restoration practice, socio-economics.


Duda, Jeffrey J; Bellmore, J Ryan. 2022. Dam removal and river restoration. In: Mehner, Thomas; Tockner, Klement, eds. Encyclopedia of Inland Waters, Elsevier. 2:576-585.