|Fox River Ecosystem Partnership's Statement Regarding Dams|
|It is said that there are enough dams in the
U.S. for one to have been built every day since the nation began
in 1776. Dams generally were built to store and provide water
for mechanical power generation, industrial cooling,
hydroelectric power generation, agricultural irrigation, human
consumption, and impoundment-based recreation. They also have
been used for flood control and maintaining channel depths for
Although beneficial for various uses, dams also have negative impacts that may include increased risk of drowning; degraded aquatic habitat, water quality, and fish communities; blocked fish spawning migrations; and impaired flowing-water recreation (canoeing and kayaking). In many places around the country, dams are being removed or modified rather than repaired or reconstructed in an effort to restore naturally flowing river systems.
The Fox River Ecosystem Partnership (FREP) has identified in its Integrated Management Plan for the Fox River In Illinois (1999) dam removal or modification as an important watershed-based approach to enhance and restore aquatic habitat and fisheries in the Fox River basin. Current, ongoing studies evaluating the effects of dams on various ecological parameters in the Fox River, including water quality, and fish and invertebrate populations, and fisheries habitat suggest that dams are having substantial negative impacts on the ecology of the watershed.
Fox River Ecosystem Partnership is fully aware that many factors need to be considered when addressing any dam removal or modification alternatives. However, from a strict ecological standpoint, we believe that dam removal is the soundest alternative.