Dams are harmful because they block the flow of rivers, prevent migrating fish from swimming upstream, and create reservoirs that drown rapids and riverside habitat. (Read “10 Ways Dams Damage Rivers”)
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the rivers and streams of the United States, and last year they reached the milestone of 1,000 dams removed in the country. Of these, the Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River, which stood at 210 feet, is the tallest to ever be dismantled.
With the Glines Canyon and Elwha dams both being removed, the Elwha River can flow freely for the first time in 100 years, restoring over 70 miles of salmon and steelhead habitat. The newly reopened waters of the Elwha will provide new stretches for paddlers to explore, more fish for anglers to pursue, and more pristine natural beauty in Olympic National Park for hikers and nature lovers to behold.
Year of the River from Andy Maser on Vimeo.