The final phase of the Elwha River dam removal is complete

By on September 8, 2014

The Elwha River near the Glines Canyon Dam as of September 2013 (Credit: NPS/USBR/USGS Elwha Restoration Project Imagery , via Flickr)


The last piece of the lower dam blocking Washington state’s Elwha River has been removed, according to NPR. With its removal, a project that began three years ago to free the Elwha river’s flow is complete.

Scientists are monitoring the effects that highly concentrated sediment once trapped behind the dam may be having on the Strait of Juan de Fuca downstream. But a return of wildlife and fish to the Elwha is already indicating the project’s success.

Washington fisheries biologists have counted more than 1,500 king salmon above the lower dam site this past summer, an increase from years past. Land animals, like otters, bears and deer, are also enjoying more access to stronger flows that keep water fresh.

Image: The Elwha River near the Glines Canyon Dam as of September 2013 (Credit: NPS/USBR/USGS Elwha Restoration Project Imagery , via Flickr)

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