Elwha, The Grand Experiment

Elwha, The Grand Experiment

Elwha river estuary. Photograph: © SAF


“Stanford University’s School of Humanities and Sciences, and their Knight Risser Prize for Western Journalism, has honored Lynda Mapes of the Seattle Times with a Special Citation for the report, “Elwha: The Grand Experiment”, which focusses on the largest dam removal project in the world currently underway in Washington State.

This impressive multi-media coverage includes animation of how the dams are being removed, videos capturing the ecosystem rebounding and fish returning, and links to live time-lapse footage of the dams coming down and reservoir areas reviving. We thank Lynda Mapes and the Seattle Times for capturing and sharing this historic river restoration project. We are encouraged to see folks at Stanford recognize this coverage and hope that Stanford will soon be honored for removing Searsville Dam, updating their water supply system, and helping to restore our San Francisquito Creek watershed and San Francisco Bay.”—Beyond Searsville Dam

Read The Special Report, Seattle Times
“It’s the largest dam-removal project in North America, and a second chance for the Elwha River valley, where dams have blocked salmon runs for more than a century. Two dams on the river are being taken out in a $325 million grand experiment that’s one of the most ambitious ecological restoration efforts in the U.S. Come along as we explore a largely unspoiled place that offers one of the best chances for restoration anywhere…”

Dams’ removal promises unique chance to start over on a grand scale, The Seattle Times

Elwha River Restoration: Dams Removal Project (09-2011)
This September, removal of two dams on the Elwha River, in Washington State, begins, setting in motion one of the largest restoration projects in U.S. history.

Elwha River, Dam Removal Project; a Photo Gallery, WCU / PSDS

On The Elwha, A New Life When The Dam Breaks
Nobody figured the largest dam removal project ever attempted in the U.S. was going to be easy, or fast.The nation’s largest and most ambitious dam removal will begin this month, when workers start demolishing two antique dams on Washington state’s Elwha River…

Fish return to undammed Elwha River
A project to remove two hydroelectric dams from the Elwha River in Washington state is bringing benefits for local wildlife. But the fish are not home free yet.

Underwater Ecosystem Inundated by Sediment Plume, Elwha River
Scuba-diver scientists from the U.S.G.S, with support teams from the U.S. EPA, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, and Washington Sea Grant, are returning to the mouth of Washington’s Elwha River this week to explore and catalogue the effect of released sediment on marine life following the nation’s largest dam removal effort.

The Condit Dam Breach
For 95 years, the 125-foot high Condit Dam in rural Washington State held back the White Salmon River. In an historic effort, the dam was dramatically breached to restore, for the first time in a century, the waterway to fish and other aquatic organisms, as well as the birds and mammals that rely on them. The dam removal comes just weeks after dismantling began on the Elwha Dam a few hours to the north.

New Global Warming Culprit: Dams
Washington State University researchers have documented an underappreciated suite of players in global warming: dams, the water reservoirs behind them, and surges of greenhouse gases as water levels go up and down.

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