Archives: Dam removal

MU Students Witness the Liberation of a River and the Return of Life

by L. J. Frech*

On July 7th of this year, 8 students from Marylhurst University left campus for a four day exploration of Olympic National Park, recognized as a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve. There are over 20 plants and animals in the Olympics found nowhere else on Earth, and National Marine Sanctuaries protest 3,310 square miles of ocean life.

This field studies course was designed to gain an understanding of the largest dam removal in the world and the most extensive river restoration effort in Pacific Northwest history. The primary purpose of the dam removal is to restore anadromous stocks of Pacific Salmon and Steelhead to the Elwha River, which have been denied access to the upper 65 miles of river habitat for more than 95 years by two dams.

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