Dams as “museums of natural history disasters”

Stream ecologist Thomas E. Waters, Professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, wrote a great book:  Wildstream— A Natural History of the Free Flowing River, Riparian Press, 2000.  At 600 pages, he covers many subject areas including dams— for which he has no praise.  Here’s an exerpt:

“The number of dams on U.S rivers is staggering.  The number of dams over five feet in height was estimated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at 75,000.  Smaller dams run into about 2 million; we don’t know exactly.  What is clear however, is the number of medium to large rivers, still free of dams is dangerously low, and that these few streams can be perceived today only as remnants, “museums of natural history disasters.”


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