The Elwha river, flowing from Olympic mountain to the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington State, is being un-dammed. In the early 1900’s, the river was blocked by an industrial electric power plant to produce electricity for the Americans living in nearby towns. The native Indian tribes that lived along the Elwha were cut off completely from their livelihood, the wild salmon that run the stream each year to spawn.
Almost 20 years has gone by since the decision was made to remove the obsolete dam and its aging power plant, and now engineers and nature conservationists are working to slowly break down the dam to see if it is possible to re-develop the Elwha river and restore the native Salmon population.
There are over 250,000 dams in the United States alone, most of them constructed in the 1950’s and in severe disrepair today.