The final section of the Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River is about to be blasted away, completing the largest dam removal project in US history. It’s pretty amazing to see the large scale restoration of a major river happening right here in our backyard, a project many of us have been anxiously awaiting for many years. Check out some of the latest media on the project…

The Glines Canyon Dam prior to removal Photo: Mikal Jakubal

The Glines Canyon Dam prior to removal Photo: Mikal Jakubal

In case you missed it, the Elwha Restoration got front page coverage this past weekend in the The Seattle Times. Former WA Surfrider Staff member Ian Miller was quoted about the changes downstream and the amount of sediment deposited on nearby beaches. “Ian Miller, a coastal hazard specialist based in Port Angeles for Washington Sea Grant, has been monitoring the beach at the river mouth. The surprise to him isn’t the big volume of sediment the Elwha is delivering downstream, but the fact that it is sticking around. “Basically, this is all new land,” Miller said, walking the beach east of the river mouth on a recent visit. “Everything here is less than two years old. You can walk to (sandy) spots on the beach that are 30 feet deep. It is just a dramatically different system. A beach that used to be too rocky to comfortably walk on is today used by kids to play soccer.” Read the full article here

Our friends at Patagonia also put together a cool post with some pics from a recent float thru the newly opened section of river. “Matt and I drove down to the where the Elwha runs into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This was, perhaps, the most tangible evidence of a river reborn, and an uplifting view of what a free river is supposed to do. Instead of the river channel running straight into saltwater along a sterile, clean-cobble beach as it once was, the Elwha had built a tremendous delta. Sediment, trapped behind the dams for 100 years, is now creating a complex system of barrier islands, sloughs, ponds and wetlands. The most perfect juvenile salmon habitat imaginable. We stood there in the wind, absorbing what it all means and feeling the uplift of a rare and valuable victory.” Check out the post on the Cleanest Line here

And last, but not least, check out this cool video from EarthFix: Undamming the Elwha