New York Times Editorial
July 4th, 2009
Following the success of a decade-old campaign to improve water quality and fish species, the West Coast’s four big dams on the Lower Snake River should be removed.
Ten years have gone by since a modest but important moment in American environmental history: the dismantling of the 917-foot-wide Edwards Dam on Maine’s Kennebec River.
The Edwards Dam was the first privately owned hydroelectric dam torn down for environmental reasons (and against the owner’s wishes) by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Bruce Babbitt, the interior secretary at the time, showed up at the demolition ceremony to promote what had become a personal crusade against obsolete dams. The publicity generated a national discussion about dams and the potential environmental benefits — to water quality and fish species — of removing them. Read more of the NYT editorial.