In my previous post I discussed the history of some of the dams along the Cuyahoga and why they were removed or in the process of being removed. Many, including me, used to think of a dam and figured it was just part of the way things worked and necessary. Through extended research I have learned that is not the case. Some of the biggest issues include:
1) Affect on Wildlife
A dam is a big inhibitor to the natural flow of a river. Since the dam takes up such a huge area and space it can completely kill the flow of the water and cause issues with how the water is redistributed past the damn. This can lead to low flow spots that can kill fish who cannot survive in the extremely shallow waters. The dam can also split the habitat and ecosystem in which some species can thrive which can lead to both new areas of the species struggling. In many cases this can total deplete the one or both portions of the particular animal and without them the entire community in that area can suffer.
2) Sediment Transportation
A dam can also stop the spread of positive sediments along the river that can also help animals and plant species grow and stay healthy. The river will try to compensate for this loss in sediment by trying to transport it another way. The river will erode further down stream which can cause structural issues to other areas including damage to possible bridges.
3) Changes in Water Impac
The change in flow and disrupting of it can have negative affects on the health of the water as well. When water flows unnaturally and is cut off by a dam it can cause changes in water temperature, which can be another cause of depletion of animal and plant life. In addition to changing the temperature it can hurt the oxygen levels leading to an overall worse condition for the water creating the river.
(References for information for this article found at: https://www.internationalrivers.org/environmental-impacts-of-dams)