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.
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.
Learn more about the Elwha restoration project in “Return of the River“ or check out a set of still photos from the blast.