Friday, December 02, 2005

Elwha Dam and Lake Aldwell

Photo: Ross Freeman

Elwha River, before Elwha Dam

Photo: Olympic National Park archives

Glines Canyon, after

Photo: Scott Church

Glines Canyon, before

Photo: Olympic National Park archives

Other dam removals in the news

Montana's Blackfoot River is free-flowing, now that Bonner Dam has been removed

North Carolina's Deep River will be restored when the Carbonton Dam comes down in Jan '06

Efforts to remove Savage Rapids Dam from Oregon's Rogue River are moving forward

Elwha story on NPR, 11-30-05

NPR featured a story on the Elwha restoration effort on November 30, 2005

Listen to the story

All in all, the story mentioned more of the downsides of dam removal as opposed to the many benefits -- to people, the river, the salmon, and the ecosystem.

On the issue of lost hydropower production, the Elwha dams provide a very small amount of power (about 28 megawatts) and the sole beneficiary of this power is a single mill in Port Angeles. Further, the regional power grid will easily make up for that lost power once the dams come down. As for the sediment in the reservoirs, the Park Service has a plan in place to manage the sediment and protect the salmon.

Visit American Rivers to learn about the benefits of restoring the Elwha River.