The mission of American Rivers is to protect wild rivers, restore damaged rivers and conserve clean water for people and nature.

Organization scope



Ted Illston
(202) 347-7550

Resources from American RiversAll resources

Court cases   7/6/2018

American Rivers v. FERC (III)

Case Studies › Collections › Hydro guides › Recommended reading › Reports   12/1/1999

Dam Removal Success Stories

Comments & Filings › Laws, court cases, and filings   7/2/2021

Felt Dam Draft License Application Comment

Case Studies › Reports   3/22/2022

Free Rivers: The State of Dam Removal in the U.S.

Tribal Resources › Videos   12/17/2020

Guardians of the River

Videos   1/1/2013

Hydropower Reform Can Save Rivers

Videos   1/1/2007

Marmot Dam Removal

Comments & Filings › Laws, court cases, and filings › Sample pleadings   8/16/2021

Motion to Intervene & Comments on Draft Supplemental EIS on the Coosa Project

Comments & Filings › Laws, court cases, and filings   4/23/2021

Office of Public Participation Comment

Case Studies › Hydro guides › Tools and guides   5/1/1996

River Renewal: Restoring Rivers Through Hydropower Dam Relicensing

Hydro guides › Recommended reading   1/1/1989

Rivers at Risk: The Concerned Citizen’s Guide to Hydropower

Videos   1/1/2012

Save the Skykomish River

Recommended reading › Tribal Resources   4/14/2020

The Sacred River (The Source, Spring 2020)


News and updates from American RiversAll news


A spring in our step: progress for rivers

It has been a busy and productive spring! Big victories for rivers take time, and we celebrate every positive step. With the help of our supporters and partners, we’re building momentum every day. We’re using our national policy expertise to forge solutions that benefit rivers in your backyard, and nationwide. Here are three promising developments […]


America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2022 Spotlights Rivers in Crisis Mode

Catastrophic drought. Disastrous floods. Fish and other freshwater species nearing extinction, as rivers heat up. Many people in the United States have imagined climate change as a problem in the future. But it is here now, and the primary way that each of us is experiencing climate change is through water. The climate crisis is […]


Reconnecting the Past: A Blackfeet Man Floats the Blackfoot River

Okii Nikso’kowaiksi, (Hello friends,) Pushing off from the boat launch that first day was nothing short of a miracle. That’s right, a miracle. In a strange way, it is quite miraculous for an Indigenous Blackfeet person like myself to go on a multi-day float trip, even as an ex-fishing guide on my own tribe’s namesake […]


Our 2023 Budget for Rivers

The challenges facing rivers can feel overwhelming. Climate change, perhaps rivers’ most existential threat, is fueling record-breaking floods and drought. A long history of racial injustice forces the impacts of climate change, along with pollution, dams and other threats, disproportionately on Black, Indigenous, Latino and other communities of color. Solutions to these challenges exist, we […]


New IPCC Report Doubles Down on Water Crisis

The IPCC report released today is yet another urgent alarm bell, urging us to wake up to the real dangers of climate change that communities across the globe are already experiencing.  Climate change is bringing severe consequences – from increasing floods and failing dams that endanger entire communities, to droughts and tapped-out water supplies that […]


25 Dams to Watch in 2022

As part of “Free Rivers: the state of dam removal in the U.S.”, American Rivers is spotlighting 25 projects to watch for 2022 and beyond. Thousands of dams need to come down in the U.S., and there are opportunities for river restoration at every size and scale. American Rivers curated the following list of 25 […]


New Report Alert – Free Rivers: The State of Dam Removal in the U.S.

Removing dams has tremendous benefits for river health, public safety and climate resilience, according to “Free Rivers: The State of Dam Removal in the U.S.,” a report released today by American Rivers. Fifty-nine dams were removed in 2021, reconnecting more than 2,290 miles of rivers. In addition, American Rivers is highlighting 25 dam removals to watch for 2022 and beyond.


Coming Together to Help the Little Colorado River Thrive

It’s late fall 2021 and I’m at the Tuba City Chapter House on the Navajo Nation for one of several community meetings that American Rivers, the Grand Canyon Trust, and local communities are hosting to explore ways to safeguard and sustain the Little Colorado River. The air is crisp and the sun peeks above the […]


Key ways to help free rivers in 2022

Rivers that are unimpeded by dams or diversions are the basis of life in our country. They allow water levels to fluctuate, naturally sustaining healthy habitats and reducing the likelihood that floods will inundate homes and property. Free-flowing rivers also nourish soil, filter out pollutants and support indigenous cultures that rely on fish and wildlife, […]


The Strength of Salmon

In the Pacific Northwest, salmon are so much a part of the landscape that their DNA is in the trees — literally. Born in the small freshwater streams of the Northwest, the smolt, or young fish, migrate out to the ocean where they transform into sleek, strong predators, gorging themselves on the bounty of the […]