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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

June 12, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Renewal hits the beach: shore at Elwha River mouth getting sandy

Ian Miller, a Washington Sea Grant scientist based in Port Angeles studying coastal changes on the Elwha, will present tonight in Tacoma on the fascinating changes underway on the beach at the mouth of the river.

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Sediment freed from behind Elwha Dam pours into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Photo by Tom Roorda, taken in this spring, after the dam came down. The biggest sediment loads are yet to come, from behind Glines Canyon dam, starting this fall.

Restoration is making it all the way to the beach, and sand is starting to nourish the shore, starved for sediment locked up behind the dams.

Miller has been watching the cobble transform the beach — check out his video, before and after photos, and reports on his blog. And watch for a story coming soon in The Seattle Times. Photographer Steve Ringman is headed out to the beach with Miller next week to document the changes.

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