World’s largest dam removal just completed in USA

On 26 August 2014, on a remote stretch of the Elwha River in northwestern Washington state, USA, a demolition crew hired by the National Park Service detonated a battery of explosives within the remaining section of the Glines Canyon Dam. The blasts destroyed the last 30 feet of the 210-foot-high dam and signalled the culmination of the largest dam-removal project in the world.

Andy Ritchie, restoration project hydrologist, at the dam removal site

Andy Ritchie, restoration project hydrologist, at the dam removal site

Read the full article on the project at the National Geographic Society’s website.

For further background on this project:

  • visit the The U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service Elwha River Restoration page.
  • visit the Vimeo page of Return of the River, a feature documentary that tells the story of the Elwha River dam removal and river restoration project.

This epic project is a reminder that lake and river restoration and dam decommissioning is not a “Green fantasy”. It is normative, and there is a great deal of activity and proposed activity worldwide. For further information, see our Restoration: local and global page

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