From Olympic National Park:
On Saturday, September 17, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will join Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Congressman Norm Dicks, and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Chairwoman Frances Charles to officially mark the beginning of the Elwha River dam removal project. The event marks a significant milestone for the Elwha River Restoration project which will help increase salmon populations, uphold commitments to the culture of the Elwha Klallam Tribe, and create new opportunities for growth and regional vitality.
The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. PDT and the streaming of the ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. through the following link: http://celebrateelwha.com. Showcasing the first step in dam removal, an excavator will remove the first concrete from the Elwha Dam. A big-screen showing of the ceremony will take place at Elwha Central at the Port Angeles City Pier in Port Angeles and at the Mountaineers Outdoors Fest at Magnuson Park in Seattle.
Tom Skerritt, board member of the nonprofit group American Rivers and actor will serve as master of ceremonies. The ceremony will include musical interludes by singer/songwriters Eliza Gilkyson and Dana Lyons, who will each perform an original work. Students from the Port Angeles High School will also perform and area artists have created original pieces to help tell the story of Elwha River Restoration.
This ceremony is part of the weeklong series of events in and around Port Angeles, Sequim and the Elwha Valley. Hosted by dozens of sponsors, partners and participants, the events are commemorating the history and celebrating the future of this landmark project, while educating visitors about dam removal and restoration, Olympic National Park and the North Olympic Peninsula. A full schedule of events and more information is available online at celebrateelwha.com.
The Elwha River Restoration is an environmental and cultural restoration project which includes the nation’s largest dam removal and will free the Elwha River after nearly a century. Removing the 108-foot Elwha Dam and the 210-foot Glines Canyon Dam will allow anadromous fish to access more than 70 miles of protected habitat and help restore the river’s salmon populations from 3,000 to more than 300,000.
For more information on Elwha River Restoration, please visit the Olympic National Park’s website at www.nps.gov/olym or share information and interact with “Elwha River Restoration” on Facebook.