On August 26th, a dam that has held up the natural flow of the Elwha River for more than 100 years was blown to smithereens. This video by John Gussman shows the blast in its quick glory. This marks the end of an era of dams on this river, and the beginning of a new era of restoring an ecosystem.
The Glines Canyon Dam in remote Northwestern Washington state was used to generate electricity for most of a century.
While hydroelectric dams still provide an important renewable source of electricity, a change in policy and attitudes in the United States has led to the demolition of some dams that were neither efficient nor environmentally friendly.
Thus, a few more rivers in the United States are able to carry sediment naturally to rebuild environments for delta inhabitants like crabs and sea birds. Dam removal is also lauded by kayakers and others who rely on free-flowing rivers for recreation.
Hurrah for less unnecessary dams, and for a more free flowing ecosystem!