FE1.10 - Rushing Downriver

Aerial view of the Elwha nearshore (April 2016) by Sam Beebe

Aerial view of the Elwha nearshore (April 2016) by Sam Beebe


In this conclusion to our series on dam removal, we travel from the Klamath up to the Olympic Peninsula, and the site of the former Elwha and Glines Canyon dams. What did it actually take to bring the dams down, and what lessons can we take forward to other ambitious ecosystem renewal projects?

Corrections to this episode:

  • While salmon fry may have to contend with hungry bass in other river systems, the Elwha is not one of them.

  • The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife releases specifically Chinook salmon into the Elwha river.

Show Notes

This episode features Anne Shaffer (Marine Biologist and Executive Director of the Coastal Watershed Institute), Dave Parks (Hydrogeologist at the Washington Department of Natural Resources), Ryan Hilperts (Director of the Redfish School of Change), and Erika Terence (Development Program Director at the Mid Klamath Watershed Council).

Special thanks to Schuyler Lindberg, Vincent van Haaff, Jose Isordia, Kirsty Johnstone Munroe Cameron, Ilana Fonariov, and Andrjez Kozlowski.  

Music for this episode was produced by Radioactive Bishop, Kieran Fearing, and Sunfish Moonlight.

A lot of research goes into each episode of Future Ecologies, including great journalism from a variety of media outlets, and we like to cite our sources:

Hilperts, Ryan Laurel., and Eric Higgs. “The Elwha River Restoration: Challenges and Opportunities for Community Engagement.” 2010.

Love, Robin Milton. Probably More than You Want to Know about the Fishes of the Pacific Coast. Really Big Press, 1996.

“Olympic National Park to Get $54.7 Million in Federal Stimulus Funds.” The Seattle Times, 22 Apr. 2009, www.seattletimes.com/life/travel/olympic-national-park-to-get-547-million-in-federal-stimulus-funds/.

Parks, D. S. “Bluff Recession in the Elwha and Dungeness Littoral Cells, Washington, USA.” Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, vol. 21, no. 2, Jan. 2015, pp. 129–146., doi:10.2113/gseegeosci.21.2.129.

Shaffer, J. Anne, et al. “Large-Scale Dam Removals and Nearshore Ecological Restoration: Lessons Learned from the Elwha Dam Removals.” Ecological Restoration, vol. 35, no. 2, Aug. 2017, pp. 87–101., doi:10.3368/er.35.2.87.

This episode includes soundscape audio recorded by Andrzej Kozlowski.  It also includes audio recorded by sidhozen, Sonic-ranger, rfhache, lttldude9, HonorHunter, and klankbeeld, protected by Creative Commons attribution licenses, and accessed through the Freesound Project.  A heartfelt thanks to klankbeeld, whose underwater sounds pack made this episode a pleasure to mix.

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Future Ecologies is recorded on the unceded territories of the Musqueam (xwməθkwəy̓əm) Squamish (Skwxwú7mesh), and Tsleil- Waututh (Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh) Nations - otherwise known as Vancouver, British Columbia.  

This season of Future Ecologies is supported in part by the Vancouver Foundation.  Learn more at https://vancouverfoundationsmallarts.ca/.  

Your hosts, in our field recording studio / windbreak. Photo by Anne Shaffer

Your hosts, in our field recording studio / windbreak. Photo by Anne Shaffer