They're done demolishing the 108-feet-tall Elwah Dam in northwest Washington State. It's the largest dam ever removed. The formerly huge runs of huge salmon are beginning to recover. The fish are reaching some river areas from the first time in over 100 years.
Continue reading below the braided orangey river for a few more details.
The restored river is creating restored habitat for many critters besides the fish. The River's new estuary will allow crabs and other shoreline sea critters to get established there. Birds of every size and shape will feed on the restored aquatic life.
Land mammals will nibble on the revegetated former reservoir areas.
Another thing I like about this dam removal project was the preservation of an endangered species, the Pacific Northwest Unionized Paperworker.
The pulp and paper mill in nearby Port Angeles was dependent on the cheap power from the Elwah Dam for its continued profitability. So part of the deal to remove the dam, was government-arranged financing for the mill to build its own small power plant. The new plant burns mill wastes, an arguably renewable and carbon-neutral fuel.
That saved about 300 union jobs in an area where there isn't a lot of work available. I hope that's the kind of model we can follow in our upcoming national efforts to abandon use of fossil fuels, which will potentially cause localized economic disasters, if not well thought out.