Dam removal is like major surgery: There are always risks and potential complications associated with the procedure, but there are ways of minimizing those risks, and we press forward when we are confident that surgery will improve the patient's overall health. So far, the track record for dam removal is excellent, and our ability to avoid potential risks improves with experience. Dealing with uncertainty, complexity, and even risk isn't a "downside." It's a necessary part of doing the job right. This is why river restoration practitioners and conservation groups alike are vocal advocates for more scientific research at dam removal sites.
Jim MacBroom, P.E.
Milone and MacBroom, Inc.