Pa. led the nation in dam removal in 2012
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pennsylvania removed more dams from waterways last year than any other state, according to a report issued Tuesday.
Thirteen of the 65 dams removed nationwide in 2012 were in Pennsylvania, according to American Rivers, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that works to protect rivers and restore their natural flow.
In the report, American Rivers president Bob Irvin said "communities nationwide are removing outdated dams because they recognize that a healthy, free-flowing river is a tremendous asset." The group noted that dam removal can help alleviate local flooding and benefit aquatic life and fish populations.
The Brandywine Conservancy in Chadds Ford helped to remove two dams on the East Branch of Brandywine Creek.
Wes Horner, a water specialist with the conservancy, said a shad restoration program was the impetus for its work on dam removal.
Horner said it normally takes three to five years for a stream to adjust to dam removal, and part of the project is restoring stream banks with native vegetation. He added that Pennsylvania has many dams that are hundreds of years old, and some dating to the Colonial era have historic value.