USGS scientists and divers with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, EPA, and Washington Sea Grant, went underwater to study the impacts to the Strait of Juan de Fuca now that removal of the Elwha River dams is well underway.
The removal project is releasing sediment that has accumulated behind the dams for nearly 100 years. The flow and deposition of that sediment can have a variety of effects on marine plants and animals; including burial, inhibition of aquatic reproduction, light reduction, damage to animal gills and filter feeding structures, and alteration of species interactions with their different tolerances and responses to the sediment.
For more information, see: www.usgs.gov, www.usgs.gov/elwha.
Photo of Steve Rubin, USGS, conducting a video transect along a permanent sampling station, revisited each year before, during, and after dam removal.
See more photos and ask questions of EPA Divers at www.facebook.com/EPAdivers
May 4, 2014
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