Rivers and streams were important power sources for early settlers of western New York, and gristmills sprang up in many local towns and villages. Gristmills used water as its power source to grind flour grown in the Genesee Valley. However, as electric power became more common and affordable in the 20th century, water-powered mills gradually disappeared. Many have been torn down or converted to other uses, such as the Glen Avon Mills, which is today a private residence. Use of hydroelectric power continues today while at the same time, many dams across the nation are being removed to restore natural habitats. How do we interact with local rivers and streams today?