Spring Street’s speaker series wraps up Thursday
Posted April 20, 2022 at 7:15 pm by Jeff Arnim
Spring Street International School’s virtual spring speaker series wraps up this Thursday, April 21 at 6 p.m. with a presentation on the restoration of the Elwha River by Eric Kessler, local photographer and past Spring Street faculty member.
Eric describes the presentation this way:
On September 17, 2011 the first chunk of hundred year old cement was removed from the Elwha Dam. It was just one significant benchmark in the lengthy and elaborate process of restoring the Elwha River back to a pristine state. Days after the river ran free again, anadromous fish that had called the river their home since the end of the last ice age began repopulating the watershed.
This presentation offers a broad overview and update of the ecological, cultural, and political issues surrounding the largest project of its kind to date in the U.S. An amazing collage of circumstances, spanning four presidential administrations and 18 Congressional appropriations bills, came together allowing this landmark event to happen. The restoration has played out on multiple levels. Re-establishing the salmon runs and renewing the flow of nutrients to streams and forests have benefitted the Elwha ecosystem. Redressing the treaty obligations between the state and federal governments and about 40 tribes around Puget Sound have benefitted the Lower Elwha’s Klallam people. Rectifying Washington State’s decades-long neglect of fish passage regulations and environmental protection on the Elwha have restored the trust of citizens.
Each of these threads has a fascinating story, but the big picture — the magnitude of what’s happening on the river and all the levels on which wrongs are being corrected — is even more powerful. Moreover, the Elwha represents a template for other dam river removals and restoration efforts around the country.
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Categories: Around Here