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Contact: Meg Sheehan, megsheehan07@gmail.com 508.259.9154 (US cell)

Dam Opponents Celebrate International Day of Action for Rivers

The North American Megadams Resistance Alliance (NAMRA) stands in solidarity with groups opposing megadams on International Rivers’ Day of Action on March 14, 2019. NAMRA is an international coalition of environmental and social justice groups opposing the ongoing destruction of rivers and communities by megadams.

The Day of Action highlights women’s role in protecting and managing rivers. NAMRA has organized speaking tours for women leaders from Labrador, Canada opposing the Muskrat Falls megadam. Marjorie Flowers, an Inuit grandmother arrested and jailed for opposing the dam, Amy Norman an Inuit woman, and Grand Riverkeeper Labrador, Roberta Benefiel toured recently to raise awareness about methyl mercury poisoning caused by Muskrat Falls and the destruction of forests, the river, and indigenous ways of life. According to Benefiel, concerns with Muskrat Falls include “possible dam failure because the North Spur (a natural dam) is made up of made up of layers quick clay prone to liquefy under pressure or from further saturation.”

AMRA’s solidarity extends to Indonesia in Southeast Asia where new megadams threaten Indigenous communities and the environment. The Tampur megadam threatens Indonesia’s globally significant Leuser Ecosystem, home to iconic rainforest species such as the Sumatran elephant and tigers. "The Tampur hydrodam is a catastrophic project that threatens communities and biodiversity and would destroy 4,000 hectares of critical forests inside the Leuser Ecosystem, as well as the river which communities depend on for their daily lives,” said Irham Hudaya Yunardi, of Forest, Nature, Environment of Aceh (HAkA) in Indonesia.

NAMRA supports communities opposing the transmission corridors that will bring megadam power to distant markets. In Maine, the controversial Iberdrola-Central Maine Power corridor will cut a 145-mile swarth through wilderness to bring electricity from remote areas of Canada to Massachusetts. Promoters claim it is clean energy. “Decades of studies show that megadams are climate busters, not climate saviors,” said Meg Sheehan, an attorney and coordinator for NAMRA. In addition to damaging rivers and communities, this is dirty energy and should be treated like fossil fuels,” Sheehan added.

www.northeastmegadamsresistance.org; www.internationalrivers.org
Muskrat Falls, Labrador, Canada: www.grandriverkeeperlabrador.ca; Labrador Land Protectors on Facebook Twitter @protectlabrador
Tampur Dam, Indonesia: www.lovetheleuser.org; www.haka.or.id

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