Beverly Beaver’s Dam Breakdown

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Hello, Earth Rangers, Beverly Beaver here!

I’m taking a break from building my lodge because an interesting thought occurred to me: which is better, a beaver dam or a hydroelectric dam? And what’s the difference, anyway?

Let’s break it down!

Beaver Dams

Beaver dams are made by beavers (obviously). Why do we make them? Well, think of us as ecosystem engineers. We build dams because we want to stop flowing water and create a nice, still pond where we can build our lodge (home, sweet home)! 

When we dam up a river, we’re not the only animals that appreciate the calm, watery wetland that results—other creatures like frogs, fish, and birds also benefit. That’s the reason beavers are a keystone species. Without us, wetlands would look totally different (and some of them wouldn’t even exist)!

beaver dam

Hydroelectric Dams

Now, what about hydroelectric dams? Those are built by people, and the goal is to create electricity.

A hydroelectric dam is built in a river. Damming the river creates a reservoir of water that flows into the dam to spin a turbine. That turbine is connected to a generator that produces electricity. The more water that flows through the dam, the more electricity can be generated. Because water is a renewable resource, this is a cleaner, greener way to power up homes and businesses.

So, I guess beavers and people aren’t so different after all: we’re both great at building dams. I think I’ll stick to making mine from logs and mud!

Want to learn more about renewable energy and make a wind turbine, water wheel, and solar oven? Accept the We’ve Got the Power Mission in the Earth Rangers App!

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