Transcript

Flowing Again: Salmon Returns to Olympic National Park

FLOWING AGAIN Before danms were 130 SPECIES of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife constructed, salmon weigh- Salmon Return to Olympic National Park ing up to 100 POUNDS were feed on, or derive their life-giving nutrients from salmon carcasses, including black bears harvested from the river. and eagles, among many others. One hundred years ago, elders in the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe told their grandchildren of a time when they could cross the Elwha River on the backs of salmon swimming upstream to spawn, without even getting their feet wet. But ever since the Elwha Dam and Glines Canyon Dam were constructed to harness the river's energy more than 80 years ago (before the designation of Olympic National Park), the flow of salmon has been reduced to a trickle, and the impact has been felt across the entire ecosystem. That's about to change. In 1992, President George Bush signed legislation calling for the dams' removal. Since then, NPCA and Rep. Norm Dicks PINK SALMON The salmon-which include pink, chinook, coho, chum, sockeye, and other (D-WA) have worked hard to ensure the feds allocate millions of dollars for the undertaking; NPCA volunteers have volunteered for prep work, including the removal of invasive species. Construction crews got to work in September, and the river should be flowing freely by 2014. Some key numbers in the largest dam-removal in U.S. history. species-will once more have access to the more than 70 MILES of waterways that make up the Elwha River and its tributaries. The Measurements The Wattage The Economics The Biology Cost: $325 million Time-line: 2 1/2 years Employment: 760 jobs during construction and restoration; 446 jobs in Both dams, constructed to The two dams have Spenving TELAR STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA provide electricity for a reduced the Elwha's Ama ATION paper mill in the city of Port Angeles, were built without wild salmon spawning THE population from 400,000 to about 3,000. Biologists fully expect ELWIHA RIVER PO ANGELE fish ladders, which allow -99% S ELWHA DAM recreation and tourism. salmon to navigate through dams. The dams generated only 19 megawatts of energy, compared with the 500 megawatts of an average coal-fired power plant. Nationally, dams once provided 40% of U.S. electricity in Lake Adwell The Lower Elwha Dam began operations in 1913; it's 105 feet high and 450 feet long. Economic benefits over 100 years: $365 million total $318 million in recreation and tourism $37 million in commercial fishing $10 million in sport fishing that number to rebound, although it may take as long as 30 years for the river to return to its natural state. OLYMPIC GLINES CANYON DAM NATIONAL The Clines Canyon Dam began operations in 1927, ir's 210 fet high and 270 feet long. PARE 1940; now they account for 7-10%. Lae Sources: National Park Service, National Geographic, NPCA, Washington Post Design by: MikeWirthArt.com

Flowing Again: Salmon Returns to Olympic National Park

shared by mikewirth on Aug 10
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This infographic spread was featured in the Winter 2012 issue of National Parks Magazine. We illustrated the positive effects on the Salmon population once the Elwa River Dam is destroyed and river fl...

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