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 Welcome to River Revival!

Welcome to River Revival, a project of International Rivers Network dedicated to supporting the growing movement of activists around the world committed to the decommissioning of dams and the restoration of rivers and watersheds.

Bringing Rivers Back To Life…

River Revival is committed to building and strengthening a global movement to restore rivers and communities affected by dams. We invite you to join us in mobilizing support for the restoration of rivers including removal or “decommissioning” of dams. We seek to restore free-flowing rivers in watersheds across the United States, and we are supporting similar efforts in other countries as well.

Here are some ways that you can get involved:

  • Endorse the Walker Creek Declaration, the founding statement of Living Rivers: The International Coalition for the Restoration of Rivers and Communities Affected By Dams. (By signing on to the declaration you automatically become a Living Rivers member. This is an informal coalition and membership involves no obligation beyond endorsing the declaration.)
  • Take action in response to current activist alerts.
  • Learn about River Revival activities in your area and around the world by visiting our list of organizations involved in decommissioning campaigns. If there are no campaigns in your area, consider starting one!
  • Stay informed by subscribing to River Revival Bulletin (our regular electronic newsletter) for updates on decommissioning and restoration efforts worldwide.
  • Donations to help River Revival defray the costs of our outreach work and publications circulation are sincerely appreciated. Contributions (Visa, MasterCard or check or money order in US dollars made out to "IRN/River Revival") can be sent to: River Revival, IRN, 1847 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94703 USA.

There’s so much going on, so much to do!
Here’s a sampling of recent decommissioning activities:

  • Vermont’s Clyde River was freed when the Newport No. 11 Dam was removed in 1996.
  • US Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt joined River Revival by leading a “Sledgehammer Tour” to decommission dams in 1997 and 1998.
  • In 1997, stretches of North Carolina’s Neuse River and Wisconsin’s Menominee River were liberated when Quaker Neck Dam on the Neuse and four dams on the Menominee were demolished.
  • In July 1998, dam decommissioning activists from around the world met for the first time and founded the Living Rivers Coalition.
  • Dam removal gathered momentum in 1998: dams were breached in France (Loire River Basin), Oregon (Bear River), Maine (Penobscot River Basin) and California (Butte Creek).
  • July 1, 1999 marked the historic removal of Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River.
  • Active decommissioning campaigns are under way on dozens of dams, and more are being announced all the time!

Check back regularly with our web site for current information on dam removal projects. Get in touch with us at: riverrevival@irn.org if you want help in starting your own decommissioning efforts!

From Dam Nation to Restoration

We live at the beginning of the end of the Age of Dams. There are more than 55,000 dams over six feet in height in the US alone today. Nearly every river has at least one dam across it. Some rivers, including some of our largest, are dammed virtually from their headwaters to their mouths.

John Muir’s beloved Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park was destroyed by a dam. In one of the earliest known polemics of anti-dam literature, he expressed the anguish perhaps better than has anyone since:

“These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar. Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.”

We now stand at the threshold of an era where for the first time since John Muir raged against the Hetch Hetchy dam nearly a century ago, we can look forward to the return of the sound of running water in once-dammed valleys everywhere.

We’re carrying this message of celebration and inspiration to river lovers everywhere. We can take our rivers back, and we can take down those dams. The success of this movement depends on the active involvement and support of river lovers everywhere. Won’t you join us in this effort?

Welcome to River Revival!

 Additional Information

For further information, please contact:

Elizabeth Brink
E-mail: riverrevival@irn.org
Phone: +510.848.1155