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Elwha dam removal!

I have to post about the Elwha dam removals that starts Saturday, September 17th in Washington state. The Glines Canyon Dam, which is 210 feet tall, will be the tallest dam ever removed. The Elwha is a river that used to host a substantial salmon population, and the possibility that the salmon could return in considerable numbers to the Elwha after these two dams are removed is pretty high. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s pretty exciting.

Here is a video about the dam removal and you can get updates from American Rivers Facebook page and website. Incredibly, this year we will remove the 1000th dam in this country (yes, that’s right – one thousand dams will have been removed from rivers in this country by the end of this year!). Whoa!

Sometimes it’s easy to not pay attention to the good things that are happening out there in the real world while I am sitting here doing research. But, my research is about rivers and water and so it’s really cool to read about real (good) things that are happening to rivers. Now, if only I could find a way to go out and see it happening…. I guess I have a few years to do that, though, since this dam removal will take 2 or 3 years, I think. I remember awhile back there was a lot of discussion over what the best way to remove a large dam would be. I think they’ve probably decided that slower is better than faster, so that there isn’t one big huge rush of sediment and water. Probably a good idea… I’m sure there are a lot of geomorphologists and dam removal people who are trembling with excitement to get data from the removal of these dams!


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