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From 2011-2014, a team of federal, state, tribal, academic, and community partners worked to remove two large dams on the Elwha River in Washington State that had blocked salmon and sediment passage for almost 100 years.

This was the largest dam removal project in U.S. history. More than 20 million tons of sediment were released–about a decade's worth of accumulation–which significantly altered the river channel and floodplain. Woody debris that had been held behind the dams was dispersed along the river’s length downstream of the former reservoirs.

Now, salmon are once again spawning in pristine river habitats of the Olympic National Park, and sediment is once again flowing down the river and to the eroding shoreline. A decade after the last dam was removed, the river continues to change.

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Geonarrative cover image shows cobbled river bottom with the text The Elwha River: Landscapes of Recovery

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