San Antonio River Authority is working to scale up… by tearing down.

At the end of April, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced 29 states will receive just over $70 million to support 43 projects that will address outdated or obsolete dams, culverts, levees and other barriers fragmenting the nation’s rivers and streams.

One of the selected projects is the removal/modification of Otilla Dam approximately 20 miles downstream of San Antonio. Led by the San Antonio River Authority, this project will remove/modify Otilla Dam, built in the 1920s for irrigation, to provide fish passage.

The dam is in a state of disrepair from years of use and degradation over time, and has become a safety hazard and complete barrier for all aquatic species, including American Eel, Burrhead Chub, and Guadalupe Bass, all Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The project will improve public safety, reduce flood risk, and reconnect 30 miles of upstream river habitat for species and recreational uses.

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