Monday, January 23, 2006

Oregon's Sandy River dams coming down in 2007

The AP's Jeff Barnard reports on the two dams that will be removed to restore Oregon's Sandy River, between 2007 to 2008.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Dams exacerbate flood threat

For decades, the two dams on the Elwha River have held back sand and sediment needed to replenish the beaches at the river's mouth. Without a regular influx of sediment, the beaches have been eroding putting waterfront residents at risk of flooding.

With western Washington now in its 24th consecutive day of rain, storm damage and flooding are a concern.

But as this article from the Peninsula Daily News (1-6-06) states:

"Even if federal authorities come through with flood-control devices, they'd only slow down the Strait's incursion into the reservation. Only removing the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams on the river will allow it to replenish the beach and perhaps rebuild Angeles Point."

A boom in river restoration

A study by a group of freshwater ecologists published in the April 2005 issue of the journal Science found that river restoration is on the rise nationwide. Specifically --

  • At least $14 to 15 billion has been invested in river restoration projects
  • More than 37,000 river restoration projects have been undertaken since 1990
  • The Pacific Northwest, California, and the Chesapeake Bay watershed are hotspots for river restoration

"River restoration is evolving from an art into a science," said Duke University's Dr. Emily Bernhardt.

"It's no mystery why river restoration is booming," said Andrew Fahlund of American Rivers. "Rivers in good condition more readily meet the needs of the surrounding community than polluted and degraded rivers."

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