Razing old dams solves some problems, creates new ones

MADISON -- An old joke among river ecologists goes like this: "What does a fish say when it hits a cement wall?" Pause. "Dam!"

Today, fewer fish are banging their heads against these barriers, due in large part to Wisconsin's efforts to tear down dozens of deteriorating dams. Razing these structures may alleviate many wildlife headaches, but it also may create new problems, according to research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Emily Stanley, a river ecologist at UW-Madison's Center for Limnology, has found that dam removal allows not just fish and canoes, but also damaging nutrients, to barge through the water system. Results of the study, which focused on dam removal sites along the Baraboo River and Koshkonong Creek in Wisconsin, are published in the August 2002 issue of the journal BioScience.

Beginning in the mid-1800s, communities nationwide built dams. While these structures generated power, controlled floods and stimulated economic growth, they transformed the ecosystem by blocking the movement of organisms, worsening the water quality and altering downstream flow and channel formation. As Stanley sums up: "Dams do bad things to rivers."

Today, there are nearly 4,000 dams in Wisconsin, and several million can be found throughout the United States. Fewer than 60 rivers in the country retain more than 62 miles of free-flowing channel.

Yet, these numbers are beginning to change: "Many of the dams are getting old," explains Stanley. "Time has taken its toll on these structures and transformed them from productive sites of commerce to safety risks."

Tearing them down, rather than restoring them, may seem like the best option, both environmentally and economically. In fact, 120 dams were razed last year in the United States, and, over the years, more than 60 have been torn down in Wisconsin.

"It's a moment in history to see water flow again for the first time in more than 150 years and to watch fi

Contact: Emily Stanley
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. LICR/UCSD team solves mystery of centromeres
2. Researchers discover protein that dissolves amyloid fibers
3. Purdue team solves structure of West Nile virus
4. Purdue biologists spotlight solves mysteries of photosynthesis, metabolism
5. Newly invented Endometrial Function Test (EFT®) solves the puzzle of unexplained infertility
6. Research reveals how an acid dissolves, molecule by molecule
7. Rutgers biomedical engineering professor solves golf grip mysteries
8. Purdue researcher solves sorghum mystery
9. One theory solves two ancient climate paradoxes
10. Pain-relief drug may prevent lung problems, blindness in premature infants
11. Cave men diets offer insights to todays health problems, study shows

Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D ... will run alongside the expo portion of the event ... and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing ... and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 ... identity management and secure authentication solutions, today announced ... contract by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) ... for IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has ... onset and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 No two people are ... the New York University Tandon School of Engineering ... found that partial similarities between prints are common ... mobile phones and other electronic devices can be ... vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... August compared the implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in ... contribution of progesterone and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of ... Club. The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was ... Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... SAN DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem ... of critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that ... the amount of limbs saved as compared to ... of the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... Arizona (PRWEB) , ... October ... ... 15 years’ experience providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and ... in-house expertise in application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: