Sep 03

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Elwha River Dam Removal

After nearly 100 years, the largest dam removal in U.S. history has allowed the Pacific Salmon to return to the Elwha River.

Photo credit: NPS Webcam

Transcript of the Audio Podcast:

The largest dam removal project in the world…on this CurrentCast.

As Washington State was settled in the early nineteen hundreds, two massive hydroelectric dams were built on the Elwha River.

As a result, seventy miles of the pacific salmon run was lost, affecting the lower Elwha Klallam tribe.

Maynes: “It had that first immediate effect on the salmon, but also on the tribe who had depended since time immemorial on the river for spiritual, cultural, as well as nutritional resources.”

That’s Barb Maynes of the Olympic National Park. She says now that the dam has been removed, the salmon are returning after nearly a hundred years of absence. The ecosystem has improved, and the tribe can once again benefit from the river.

Support for CurrentCast comes from the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas. Learn more online at http://www.current-cast.org

Learn More:


Photo credit: Jet Lowe, NPS

    1. “World’s Largest Dam Removal Unleashes U.S. River After Century of Electric Production” from National Geographic
    2. “Elwha River Restoration” from the National Park Service
    3. “Elwha River: Recovery Proceeds Despite Sediment Setbacks” from OPB
    4. Elwha River restoration blog



Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/uncategorized/elwha-river-dam-removal/