Friday, August 18, 2017

The #Elwha Undammed - Saturday Snapshots

The former site of the Elwha Dam was my hiking group's first stop on the way back home from our Lake Crescent getaway. The dam was built in 1911 to provide cheap electricity for Port Angeles, and it did its job for 100 years. Demolition began in 2012. The result: restoration of the area's ecosystem and critical spawning habitat for endangered salmon species. 
(Click on photos for a closer look.)


After the dam's removal:

Remnants of the dam were left as reminders of the area's history.

Now the river flows freely from its source in the Olympic Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This project was the largest dam removal in U.S. history.

More info about the Elwha Dam:
PBS documentary (about 25 minutes): Undamming the Elwha
National Geographic (3 minutes - time lapse video): Freeing the Elwha

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Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Interesting that this dam was removed. I wonder if it was relocated in a less vulnerable spot.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

No, Deb, the dam was not relocated. I found this online from a Seattle Times article: "The big idea ... was to get rid of hydropower dams no longer worth their maintenance and repair. The dams also had no fish passage, as required by modern environmental laws. Dam removal is restoring 70 miles of spawning habitat in the Elwha."

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Here's the link to the article:

Sue Jackson said...

So interesting...I've never heard of a dam being removed before!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend -


Book By Book

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Thanks for leaving a comment, Sue. The site was interesting to visit. I do wonder, however, what effect its removal had on electricity prices for local residents. Also, the cost of removing the dam was over $300 million.

Poem fanatic said...

This is my first time hearing of a dam removal!

Grace Marshall said...

Our group must find a way to go to Crescent Lake! It's magnificent. As always, your photos are interesting and engaging.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Crescent Lake would be a great place for a writing retreat. I hope we can do that. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Me, too. It was an interesting and beautiful place to visit.

NatureFootstep said...

I´m glad to know they are reastoring the area. I really hope it will work out fine. Thanks for sharing good news. :)

Klara S said...

Such an interesting post and place. Wonderful colours.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Klara. We enjoyed visiting the site.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

According to a Seattle Times article, the river and surrounding area are coming back to life. Here's a link, if you're interested in an update:

Lynne Spreen said...

Thanks for including the link to the video. Very interesting!