World’s Largest River Restoration Project Begins

The removal of two dams on the Elwha River​ will help restore once abundant salmon runs.

David Biello

Ninety-eight years ago, engineers tamed Washington State’s Elwha River. Dams provided electricity, at the expense of runs of five types of Pacific salmon. But the fish should soon be back. 
The two dams on the Elwha are coming down, part of the largest river restoration project ever undertaken in the world and a pointed contrast to the burgeoning number of dams being built around the world. Among other highlights will be the removal of the 21-story tall Glines Canyon Dam​—the tallest dam ever taken down.

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