The world’s largest river restoration project is underway as two dams are demolished on Washington’s Elwha River. Sightline Director Alan Durning pieced together this time lapse video using webcam shots of the Glines Canyon Dam being breached in four places Oct. 3-6:
And another, longer time-lapse video of trenching around the Elwha Dam:
OPB’s EarthFix team has done a TON of multimedia reporting on the Elwha dam removal, including stories about the how dams changed the Elwha, the role of otters as salmon return to the stretch of river above the dams for the first time in 98 years, and the controversial new tribal hatchery on the river. They’ve also made some amazing photos and videos. Here’s a snippet from their series:
“There are no salmon above the dams anymore but every year steelhead and chinook, coho, pink and chum salmon bump their noses at the base of the lower dam, as if they know what they’re missing out on.
Population numbers of these fish have steadily declined since the dams went in. But NOAA’s restoration monitoring team leader George Pess says things will turn around once the dams are out.
‘I think what you’ll see is a rapid rate of change with these species in terms of going from, let’s say, hundreds to perhaps thousands and even tens of thousands within several decades,’ he says. ‘It may not be a quick turnaround in the sense of somebody’s life but it’s a quick turnaround for ecological recovery.’”