Elwha Dam removal ceremony: “Amazing things can happen”
The Elwha Dam removal project kicked off with a ceremony last Saturday, marking the largest dam removal effort in United States history.
The Peninsula Daily News has a fantastic feature story on the ceremony, including these highlights:
- Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service, which is overseeing the dam removal project, saluted the resilience of the Lower Elwha elders, saying that for more than 20 years and the 14 congressional appropriations cycles so far, the people of this region persisted, along with the tribe. “This has been a Peninsula in transition for a long time.” He went on to note: “I believe [the restoration] will be the source of a new economy,” largely based on recreation and that “with persistence and dedication and focus on an idea… amazing things can happen.”
- Senator Patty Murray noted that the dams’ removal “will be remembered for the community partnership… and the power of a community coming together.”
- Rep. Norm Dicks has also labored for this day. “This, by far, has been the longest struggle,” Dicks said of the dam demolition.
- Governor Chris Gregoire added that the restored river, with its fishing, whitewater and surrounding splendor, may well be “a great boost to the economy of our whole state… I can only imagine the tourism.”
The Olympic National Park has animation showing how the Elwha Dam and the Glines Canyon Dam will be removed over the next three years.
Lastly, the Seattle Times did a special report on “the grand experiment to tear down two dams and return an Olympic wilderness to its former glory.” You’ll want to go straight to their website to explore the interactive report, complete with stories, photos, videos and more.