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USGS Science to Support the Elwha River Restoration Project

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Learn more about how our science is supporting the Elwha River Restoration Project

The Elwha River Restoration Project...

... will reconnect the water, salmon, and sediment of a pristine river and coast of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. Coordinated by the National Park Service, restoration of the Elwha River will include the removal of two large dams that have blocked salmon and sediment passage for almost 100 years. Dam removal began in September 2011 and was recently completed. With both dams removed, salmon will be able to spawn in pristine river habitats of the Olympic National Park, and sediment will once again flow down the river and to the eroding shoreline.

The role of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)...

... in this restoration project is to provide scientific monitoring and analyses of the fish, waters, and sediment of this historic event. This work is coordinated with the Olympic National Park, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, the Bureau of Reclamation, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other local and state entities.

Collage showing various aspects of the Elwha River.
Photo credits:
Elwha and Glines Canyon Dams – Jet Lowe, National Park Service
Elwha River perspectives – Andy Ritchie, National Park Service
River field work – Matt Beirne, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe
Beach field work – John Gussman, Doubleclick Productions

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Page Last Modified: 8 September 2014 (lzt)