Millions of cubic yards of sediment once trapped behind the dams on the Elwha River is moving downstream and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The rapid formation of gravel bars since December has been gaining the attention of researchers, including OCEAN‘s Andrea Ogsdon and Emily Ediam. Read more about this process, and why scientists think that these changes are just a drop in the bucket compared to the changes to come.
What is it like to float a river, recently undammed? Follow along with these rafters blogging for National Geographic, who ran the White Salmon about a year after Condit Dam was removed, releasing an old river and a new river at once.
The last of Lake Mills drained through what’s left of Glines Canyon Dam, on the Elwha River, last week, while the last of the dam itself will be gone by May. Check out the story, and impressive images, of the Elwha river over the past year, as it has undergone unprecedented restoration efforts.
USGS Divers Steve Rubin and Reg Reisenbichler laying out a survey transect.
Scuba-diver scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, with support teams from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, and Washington Sea Grant, are returning to the mouth of the Elwha River to explore and catalogue effects of released sediment on marine life following the nation’s largest dam removal effort. Scientists expect dam removal to cause short-term adverse effects to marine life, followed by large-scale ecosystem resurgence once the river’s sediment load returns to a more normal state. Read more about it here; also, check out this NYTimes blog post about the “biological boomerang” effect on the Elwha.