Largest Dam Removal in History Already Restoring River’s Health

With only 35 feet left to remove of the Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River in Washington, the river is already showing great progress with fish and native plants returning to the area.

The removal of the Glines Canyon Dam, once standing at a towering 210 feet tall, marks the largest in U.S. history and is nearly complete. The removal project began in 2011 and the area is already beginning to see great progress and the return of several fish species as well as native plant life.

“The story of the Elwha is: We can do it. We can overcome a century of harm. We can work together. We can restore a river. We can show our grandchildren what commitment, responsibility, and stewardship look like. We can be the beneficiaries of an abundance of riches that flow from a river that runs free,” said Bob Irvin, president of American Rivers.

“The Elwha provides the most high-profile proof that dam removal works. On the Elwha, we are witnessing on a grand scale that rivers are ready to come back to life if we just give them a chance.”

With the complete removal of the dam and the restoration of the Elwha River, fish populations should reach 400,000 within the next few decades. Native grasses, shrubs, and trees have been planted by volunteers and are already thriving. Sediment that was once blocked in the reservoirs has traveled downstream, helping create habitats and restoring the beach.

Download Center

  • Your Guide to Environmental Metrics that Drive Performance

    Translating sustainability into action starts with implementing the right metrics to assess your environmental risk and performance. Learn how to design metrics that improve your decision-making process and drive enterprise performance.

  • Unpacking ESG: 6 Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

    Environmental and Sustainability experts from Arcadis and Cority answer 6 of the most pressing questions EHS professionals have about getting started with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

  • Streamline Your Air Emissions Management

    See how consolidating all your emissions management functions into one centralized system can help you streamline your operations, more easily maintain compliance, and achieve greater time and cost savings.

  • A Crash Course in Creating the Right Environmental Scoring System

    Learn how to develop the right environmental scoring system so you can easily benchmark performance across all your facilities and gain a holistic view of your environmental programs.

  • Industry Safe