USSD Joins Forces with The Nature Conservancy

The U.S. Society on Dams (USSD) announces a Memorandum of Understanding with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), designed to facilitate collaboration between USSD and TNC to advance the joint interest of ensuring the nation’s dams and levees are sited, operated, maintained and decommissioned in a way that meets the evolving needs of society.

The two organizations desire to advance the science and practice of optimizing dam design and operations to meet the project purposes, improve environmental outcomes, and consider the changing climate.  Using member engineers, scientists, and planners, the organizations hope to promote the planning, design and construction of more resilient and sustainable flood risk reduction systems. They will collaborate to support policy, program, funding and regulatory changes that promote the decommissioning and removal of obsolete, abandoned and/or derelict dams to increase public safety, reduce flood risk and improve aquatic habitat.  Joint efforts will also focus on developing sustainable hydropower solutions and work to inform and educate stakeholders and the public to increase society’s understanding of what constitutes sustainable water projects.

Specific projects, joint efforts and deliverables will be identified and collaboratively resourced and executed during 2017-2018. The USSD efforts are being led by Ms. Kelly Schaeffer, Chair of the Committee on Environment and Sustainability.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for USSD to collaborate with TNC, leveraging our combined resources in engineering, science, and environmental policy to advance best practices in sustainable water infrastructure,” says USSD Past President John Wolfhope, who leads the society’s collaborative efforts with other organizations. “We look forward to partnering with TNC to address our nation’s water infrastructure management challenges, and sharing lessons learned and success stories with our organizations’ stakeholders and our communities.”

Memorandum of Understanding

Contact: John Wolfhope, 512-689-6315 or

August 9, 2017