USGS science supporting the Elwha River Restoration Project

Science Center Objects

The Elwha River Restoration Project...

... has reconnected the water, salmon, and sediment of a pristine river and coast of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. Coordinated by the National Park Service, restoration of the Elwha River included the removal of two large dams that had blocked salmon and sediment passage for almost 100 years. The largest dam removal in U.S. history began in September 2011 and concluded in the summer of 2014. 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.

The role of the USGS...

... in this restoration project is to provide scientific monitoring and analyses of the fish, waters, and sediment, before, during, and after this historic event. This work is coordinated with the Olympic National Park, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, the Bureau of Reclamation, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other local and state entities.