Above: DamNation Petition Delivery to the White House. Video: Patagonia
Last year, the award-winning film DamNation swept through the river-running community, asking us to rethink the utility of over 40,000 aging dams across the U.S. Meanwhile, in August 2014, the final blasts took down the last portion of the 210-foot Glines Canyon Dam on Washington’s Elwha River, completing the largest dam removal project in American history. Within weeks, Chinook salmon were spotted above the former dam site.
The successful removal of the Elwha dams was a testament to DamNation‘s thesis: if you free them, rivers will heal. Now the filmmakers have taken the next step, joining activists and employees of Patagonia to deliver a 70,000-signature petition to President Obama and his top environmental advisers, including Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell. The petition asked the White House to remove obsolete dams, starting with four dams on the lower Snake River, which are particularly harmful to salmon populations. Learn more about DamNation‘s trip to Washington D.C. by watching the video above, or visit their website.