Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard Talks Dam Removal, Saving Nature + Ourselves

Over the weekend,Conservation Alliance co-founder and Patagonia's founder Yvon Chouinard, appeared on an American Express commercial for their members project with

"We're part of nature, and as we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves," Yvon said in the video.

The dam that's featured is the Matilija Dam, an outdated monstrosity that sits 18 miles upstream from Patagonia HQ on a tributary of the Ventura River. With its crumbling concrete and silt filled reservoir, Matilija Dam no longer serves any beneficial purpose. Its removal would allow native Southern Steelhead trout to once again use the river to spawn, and give local beaches a much needed boost in sediments (more sand) from the steep canyons of Matilija Creek.

If successful, it would be largest dam ever removed in the United States. Yvon is clear in the video that he is a "dam buster" and said: "When you take out a dam, that's a real victory. A concrete victory so to speak."

All proceeds that Yvon receives from the commercial will be divided between five of environmental groups of his choice: Concervacion Patagonica, Atlantic Salmon Federation, Freedom to Roam Coalition, Native Fish Society and Conservation Alliance grantee Save our Wild Salmon!

Keep up the great work Yvon and Patagonia!