Dam Removal

7 petitions

Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to St. Johns River Water Management District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection


UPDATE AND ATTENTION to those sincere folks that -- like me -- support the notion of restoring to free-flowing-again the Ocklawaha River by the breaching of Kirkpatrick / Rodman Dam: The CATALYST for the "Rodman Reservoir / Kirkpatrick Dam Comment Form" that the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) presented for public online comment from September 23, 2021 to October 22, 2021 was this "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" online SIGN-FOR-FREE-$$$ petition. ---------------------------------------------------------------- In April 2016 the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) headquartered in Palatka, Putnam County, Florida released on their website for dissemination to the public an official document entitled: "Technical Publication SJ2016-1: Effects on Lower St. Johns River Nutrient Supply and TMDL Target Compliance from the Restoration of a Free-Flowing Ocklawaha River" authored by John Hendrickson, Environmental Scientist VI, SJRWMD. Congratulations to John Hendrickson who was promoted in 2018 from "Environmental Scientist VI" to "Supervising Environmental Scientist" for the St. Johns River Water Management District! He has since retired from SJRWMD. The findings of "Technical Publication SJ2016-1" reported that the potential downstream detrimental nutrient load to the St. Johns River estuary by a free-flowing Ocklawaha River will be much less than previously predicted (by old 1999 science) and at these lower levels can probably be mitigated in other sections of the St. Johns River basin using measures and procedures known to SJRWMD. We, the undersigned persons being registered voters and/or real property owners of the state of Florida do hereby respectfully petition the SJRWMD and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL DEP) to earnestly begin, move forward with, and finally carry out the process of restoring to free-and-swift-flowing-again the Ocklawaha River -- "Source to the Sea" -- from its Silver Springs supreme headwaters to its St. Johns River estuary. This restoration process would require the breaching of the earthen Kirkpatrick (Rodman) Dam at the location where the historic Ocklawaha River channel flowed through it prior to September 30, 1968. For this process to begin in earnest the SJRWMD would soon need to approve and issue to the FL DEP the Ocklawaha River restoration Environmental Resource Permit that was originally submitted in 1997; and the FL DEP would soon need to inform and request that SJRWMD no longer hold this Ocklawaha River restoration permit application in abeyance because FL DEP does earnestly intend to move forward with the process that would ultimately involve the breaching of Kirkpatrick (Rodman) Dam to allow the Ocklawaha River to be free-flowing again -- "Source to the Sea" -- from Silver Springs to the St. Johns River. "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" sincerely requests that only registered voters and/or real property owners of the state of Florida respond to and sign-on to this petition. Saturday 6/24/17 was the 1-Year Anniversary of the creation of this "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" online petition. This SIGN-FOR-FREE $$$ petition had 2,112 supporters and more than 550 favorable comments as of that date. Sunday 6/24/18 was the 2-Year Anniversary of the creation of this "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" online petition. This SIGN-FOR-FREE $$$ petition had 2,404 supporters as of that date. Monday 6/24/19 was the 3-Year Anniversary of the creation of this "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" online petition. This SIGN-FOR-FREE $$$ petition had 2,534 supporters as of that date. Wednesday 6/24/20 was the 4-Year Anniversary of the creation of this "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" online petition. This SIGN-FOR-FREE $$$ petition had 3,517 supporters as of that date. Saturday 1/1/22 this petition was reopened to accept new signatures. Friday 6/24/22 was the 6-Year Anniversary of the creation of this "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" online petition. This SIGN-FOR-FREE $$$ petition had 4,150 supporters as of that date. ---------------------------------------------------------------- The SJRWMD "Technical Publication SJ2016-1" by John Hendrickson contains the data -- about DISSOLVED SILICA, NITROGEN, and PHOSPHORUS (and their combined effects on possible [downstream] St. Johns River harmful algal blooms) -- best supporting that the restoration of the Ocklawaha River will be beneficial for the entire St. Johns River (Florida's ONLY "American Heritage River") basin. Hendrickson, John. 2016. Effects on Lower St. Johns River Nutrient Supply and TMDL Target Compliance from the Restoration of a Free-Flowing Ocklawaha River. Technical Publication SJ2016-1. 107 pages. St. Johns River Water Management District, Palatka, Florida is available at: ---------------------------------------------------------------- OCKLAWAHA RIVER HISTORY: Former Governor Lawton Chiles on 6/16/95 announced the following, "After a careful review of the Ocklawaha River/Rodman Reservoir issue, I am hereby directing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with the St Johns River Water Management District, to proceed immediately in applying for permits to restore the Ocklawaha River and in moving forward with a plan to begin an orderly and phased drawdown of the Rodman Reservoir." Quite often "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" has been asked this same general question by sincere people: WHY HASN'T THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER ALREADY BEEN RESTORED SINCE GOVERNOR CHILES AND THE FLORIDA CABINET ORDERED IT TO BE DONE BACK IN THE 1990's? The official answer to that question is as documented in these following three quoted paragraphs from Technical Publication SJ2016-1 by the SJRWMD's John Hendrickson: (1) "In 1991, federal de-authorization of the Cross Florida Barge Canal Project resulted in the transfer of canal lands to the state of Florida. An ad hoc Canal Lands Advisory Committee (CLAC) was formed to provide recommendations to the Governor and Cabinet on the disposition of the barge canal lands and structures. After deliberating on the recommendations of the CLAC, the 1993 Legislature passed Chapter 92-213, Laws of Florida, which directed the Department of Natural Resources (now the Florida Department of Environmental Protection [FDEP]) to ' . . . study the efficacy, both environmental and economic, of complete restoration of the Ocklawaha River, partial restoration of the river, total retention of Rodman Reservoir, and partial retention of the reservoir . . ..' Funds were provided for the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) to undertake the study of these four alternatives. As part of the comprehensive assessment performed by SJRWMD, Volume 11 of the Environmental Studies Concerning Four Alternatives for Rodman Reservoir and the Lower Ocklawaha River, Surface Water Quality and Alternatives Analysis for Rodman Reservoir (ECT, 1994) predicted a post-restoration increase in nitrogen (in the form of nitrate+nitrite-N) and phosphorus (as orthophosphate) loads of 878 and 30 metric tons/yr to the LSJR. (2) "Despite the predicted increase in downstream nutrient load, the positive aspects related to the restoration of floodplain functions, increased unique habitat and migratory fish passage appeared to provide overall net environmental gain. At the directive of then-Gov. Lawton Chiles and the Florida Cabinet, FDEP in 1997 submitted a permit application to SJRWMD for the removal of Rodman Reservoir to restore a free-flowing lower Ocklawaha River. (3) "But in 1999, once the permit application package was complete, the case for the restoration was deemed insufficient to meet the environmental resource permit (ERP) and consumptive use permit (CUP) public interest tests, and SJRWMD staff informed FDEP that they could not recommend approval to their Governing Board. The most prominent concern contributing to the recommendation of denial centered on the potential adverse impacts of increased nutrient load to the lower St. Johns River. Adding to this concern was the fact that the lower St. Johns at the time was one of the most prominent water bodies included on the 1999 consent decree between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Earthjustice to establish Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired Florida waters. FDEP requested that SJRWMD not take agency action and to hold the permit in abeyance indefinitely, a status which has continued until this day." ---------------------------------------------------------------- When you join with "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" in our quest to advocate for the restoration of the 56-mile length Ocklawaha River-Silver River system to free-flowing again -- Silver Springs to the St. Johns River estuary -- by signing the online petition FOR-FREE $$$, it costs you NO $$$!  Most sincerely, "Ocklawahaman" Paul Nosca, the original creator of the "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" online petition. ACCURATE DOCUMENTED DATA, ECOLOGY, FACTS, FIREARMS, FISHING, HISTORY, HUMOR, HYDROLOGY, NEWS, OPINION, PADDLING, PHOTOS, SPRINGS, VIEWS, & WILDLIFE of the Ocklawaha River, Florida & SO MUCH MORE -- the "FREE THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER BY THE BREACHING OF RODMAN DAM" Facebook group page -- IT'S EASY TO JOIN & POST & IT'S FOR FREE $$$!

4,227 supporters
Update posted 2 years ago

Petition to Georgia Power Company, Kimberly D. Bose, Brian Kemp

Georgia Power, Remove the Tugalo Dam

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”                                                                       -John Muir Have you ever looked out over a lake and wondered what used to be there? What was that place like before it was buried and forgotten? Was that loss truly necessary? After a paddle down the Chattooga or Tallulah Gorge, or a drive down to the end of Bull Sluice Road, you find yourself wondering that same thing about lake Tugalo. The Tugalo Dam, like many dams of its time, was built to serve projected energy demands of urban development. Its construction began in 1917. Atlanta was the fastest growing city in the Southeast, and though there was not yet a market for the power the dam would produce, there surely would be. The plant's maximum generating capacity is 45 Megawatts. By today's standards that's not very much. In 2018 it would not justify damming six miles of river and destroying 597 acres of temperate rainforest. By 2036, when it is once again up for re-licensing, will it justify keeping the river dammed for a further forty years? That amount of electricity equates to less than 1% of Georgia Power’s total energy capacity, a percentage that will only get smaller with time, and it is costing millions of dollars to keep the dam operating. Modern solar plants can generate the same amount of electricity cheaper, cleaner, safer, and requiring less land per Megawatt than Lake Tugalo does. The company has already added over 900 MW of solar capacity in Georgia, and plans for more are in the works. The dam is a relic. Layers of concrete spall away, exposing the reinforcing steel within its sloped downstream face, splattered white with resin injected into extensive cracks to bind it back together. Random vegetation grows from places where water leaks through and runs down in little streams into the pool below. Broken powerhouse windows go perpetually unfixed. Rusty handrails, barbwire-topped fences, and DANGER signs decorate the property to keep visitors safe.  Out on the lake in areas that should be fifty to a hundred feet deep you can stand without getting your hair wet. A century of sedimentation has gradually been filling it in. Methane bubbles up from biodegrading organic matter down below, sometimes in sudden, large, prolonged bursts, playing its own small role in the warming of our atmosphere, not to mention creating a public health concern. Looking at these conditions, one thing becomes crystal clear: this dam is OLD.  Throughout its long life, it has undergone tens of millions of dollars' worth of repairs and upgrades to keep up with the effects of floods, severe climate, and concrete deterioration. In 1989 dozens of steel post-tensioned rock anchors were installed and encased in grout. Its ability to withstand a major flood now depends on those anchors, not the strength of the dam itself. While the “Probable Maximum Flood” for this watershed was once considered unlikely, climate change has in recent years delivered numerous storms that dropped unprecedented rainfall on the Southern US, and has proven that such an occurrence here is possible. The project's 1996 Environmental Impact Statement claims it has flood control benefits which would be lost if dams were removed. Yet, after a tropical storm over Memorial Day weekend of 2018 forced all six dams to overflow, flooding roads, buildings, and resulting in evacuations of neighborhoods along the Tallulah River, Georgia Power insisted that the dams actually do not have flood control capabilities. This has happened many times over the years, and will continue to happen. It is extremely dangerous, and it is too important an issue to be given two conflicting stories about it. People deserve to know the truth, and information that details the failure risks involved with these dams should be made accessible to all concerned citizens. No one has said that things will get that bad, but it would be more responsible to eliminate the hazard preemptively than to continue to put it off. What is taking priority over accountability here? At what point will this become unacceptable on a federal level? Imagine the lake transformed back into a river valley, lush with 500 additional acres of replanted native trees. Forests produce fresh oxygen, filter ground water, sequester tons of carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air every day, and provide valuable habitat for birds, plants and other wildlife, something the world needs now more than ever. The expanded aquatic range would benefit both upstream and downstream and could reduce the amount of money spent stocking fish, including on Lake Yonah. The absence of motorboats would improve air quality and provide a more peaceful experience for anglers and campers. The biggest factor in designating the Chattooga Wild and Scenic and creating Tallulah Gorge State Park was for the preservation of natural characteristics. This has been a tremendous asset to the local economy and a huge source of pride in Georgia. Original surveys of the river prior to the dam’s construction reveal sections of steep gradient. A combined total of six restored miles of the lower Chattooga and Tallulah Rivers would again flow swiftly down to their confluence through beautiful bedrock channels and stout boulder-laced rapids, whitewater pearls in an oyster of deep forest free from development. Generations of paddlers and their families have built a whole community around the connections with nature that running the river provides. Restoring this spot is something that they've dreamt about since boating was born. Significant archeologic sites could become accessible for study, such as the Adam Vandiver homestead or remnants of structures from the early logging era. Scientific insight could be gained by studying the layers of sediment, the rings of old growth tree stumps, and geologic features at the confluence. Dam Removal is no simple task, but it has become more efficient, thanks to lessons learned from decades of successful efforts on hundreds of rivers throughout the country and the rest of the world. Here are a few factors which make the Tugalo area a great candidate for restoration: The benefits of ecological services, enhanced recreational opportunities, and money saved by not having to maintain the dam or pay land taxes outweigh those of keeping it in place. There are no houses or businesses on the lake, and aside from Georgia Power, no private land owners with whom to settle property disputes. The restored land could be accessed from Tallulah Gorge State Park, increasing its national appeal. There are no water intakes on the lake. No irrigation or municipal drinking water infrastructure utilizes it, so no one stands to lose any source of water. Efforts to restore rivers and fish habitat have increased in Georgia over the years, on the Savannah, Oconee, and Chattahoochee Rivers. The removal of two dams on the Chattahoochee nearly a decade ago resulted in improved environmental conditions and recreation, and Georgia Power have recently proposed removing three more dams there. Adding Tugalo to this growing list will help us get a foothold in combating issues of water quality and aging infrastructure throughout the state. While many owners of old deadbeat dams cannot afford the costs for their removal, Georgia Power and its parent Southern Company are financially stable and have the resources necessary to make this happen. Any dam that the company no longer has to maintain could mean money allocated more appropriately, such as for cleaning up coal ash ponds or better containment of nuclear waste.   What will it take for this to become a reality?  The local community must decide they want this to happen badly enough to publicly demand it of Georgia Power, and the company must decide to honor those wishes.   Besides signing this petition, people are encouraged to call or write to the following:To voice your concerns, contact Georgia Power, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Georgia legislatures, and request they schedule public meetings to discuss the option to remove the Tugalo Dam. For questions involving flood risks in areas downstream of these dams contact the Emergency Management Agencies in Rabun, Habersham, or Stephens County, Georgia and request access to the Emergency Action Plan for the North Georgia Hydroelectric Project.For questions about the environmental impacts of the North Georgia Hydroelectric Project, contact the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control or the US Fish and Wildlife Service.To learn more about issues concerning the Chattooga and how dam removals helped restore awesome rivers elsewhere in our country, go online and check out the Chattooga Conservancy, American Rivers, and American Whitewater.

Josh Williford
4,456 supporters
Update posted 2 years ago

Petition to Joseph R. Biden, Kamala Harris, Debra A. Haaland

Stand with Native Youth: Support Removal of the Snake River Dams

“America made a deal and promised that we would be able to fish forever. We can’t fish if there aren’t any salmon left.” – Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Youth Leadership Council in their letter to President Biden Stand with us in our call to President Biden to REMOVE the four lower Snake River dams and save salmon from extinction. Sign this petition and share it widely!  As members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Youth Leadership Council, we are calling on President Biden to remove the four lower Snake River dams. These dams impact our right to fish under the tribe’s treaty with the United States. If these dams aren’t removed soon, Snake River salmon will go extinct. Over the past two centuries, 400 barriers—including the four lower Snake River dams—have been built throughout the Columbia River basin, destroying traditional fishing sites and devastating salmon populations that Indigenous communities in the Northwest, like ours, have depended on for generations. The construction and continued operation of these dams violate our treaty fishing rights and the rights of many other tribes across the Northwest.  Not only are salmon a critical food source, they’re also a part of our spiritual and cultural identity. In our language we are the "Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum" (salmon people). "Wy-kan-ish" (salmon) are important for our sacred life renewal ceremonies, our daily food, and for our economy. The salmon that swim from the "Naxiyam Wana" (Snake River) and "Nchi’- Wana" (Columbia River), into the Pacific Ocean, are family to us. They are "Wy-kan-ush Naymuma" (our salmon relatives).  On June 9, 2021, we sent a letter calling on elected leaders and requesting a meeting with President Biden. We’ve been asked to wait for decades. Salmon are dying and we can't wait any longer.  Sign our petition and stand with us in our call on President Biden to remove the four lower Snake River dams and save salmon from extinction. Read the full letter to President Biden from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Youth Leadership Council here.  The extinction of salmon means the continued erasure of Native peoples and the destruction of Native culture. Without salmon, future generations will not inherit values and teachings that have been passed down for thousands of years. 

CTUIR Youth Leadership Council
25,666 supporters
Update posted 3 years ago

Petition to John M. Mudre,, Susan Kester

FERC/PG&E: Un-Dam the Eel River, Bring the Salmon Home

It is time to Un-Dam the Eel River  Two dams owned by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) on the Eel River, the Scott Dam and the Cape Horn, known collectively as the Potter Valley Project, are currently up for relicensing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC project number P-77-001). This is a process that only happens every 50 years and this is the second relicensing for these dams, which produce only nine megawatts (about 3 windmills worth) of power.  Both public scoping hearings to receive public comments on the dams relicensing have happened out of basin and in non-fishing communities.  The Eel River is the third largest salmon-bearing river in California and once hosted up to 800,000 salmon a year, which supported the commercial fishing industry and Tribal subsistence fishing for the Wiyot, Round Valley, Bear River, Sherwood Valley, and other Tribes. Now fish numbers are about 1% of historical levels and subsistence, commercial and sport fishing opportunities have been strictly curtailed.  The Scott Dam blocks fish passage to between 55-89 miles of habitat for Chinook Salmon and198-288 miles of habitat for steelhead. This dam is very old, has no spillway and presents a safety risk for downstream users. It also creates toxic algae, warms water, and creates many other water quality impacts. The Cape Horn Dam diverts large amounts of water to the Russian River and is is also part of this project.  The dams on the Eel River are not the only issue impacting salmon in this rural watershed, however their removal would be a major step in restoring the Eel River fishery, and making sure Eel River salmon and trout survive the impacts of climate change. PG&E also uses dangerous chemicals to maintain vegetation around the dams on the Eel River.   

Save California Salmon !
8,308 supporters