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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

June 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Rebuilding the beach at the mouth of the Elwha: the big picture

Here is a fantastic aerial from Ian Miller, coastal hazard specialist for Washington Sea Grant, based in Port Angeles, documenting the rebuilding of the beach at the mouth of the Elwha:

SandBodies.png

Lenses of sand building on the beach at the mouth of the Elwha. The arrows indicate the areas of new sand deposition. The sand is rinsing down from what used to be Lake Aldwell, now a free flowing stretch of river since getting Elwha Dam out in March. Photo by Ian Miller.

Meanwhile contractors are continuing to tear down Glines Canyon Dam, requiring road closures during the day on the Whiskey Bend Road from June 25-29. The popular trailhead can still be accessed in the evening,

The road will close at 7 a.m. each day, to allow passage of heavy equipment up to Glines Canyon, then re-open each day at 5:30 p.m. to allow public access.

For a look at dam removal as it is progressing, check out the Park Service blog.

And here is one more fantastic photo from documentary filmmaker John Gussman: check out how much sediment is stacked up at the former Lake Mills, and how vigorously the newly free flowing river is chewing through it.

lake mills sediment.jpg

This sediment layer is about 15 feet thick. Photo by John Gussman

And if you want to get involved with the mammoth task of re-planting the hundreds of acres exposed in as the reservoir at the former Lake Mills drains, the National Park Service is looking for help.

Volunteers are needed to help collect seeds from native plants, and to care for plant starts being raised at the Olympic National Park’s nursery, and to replant the former Lake Mills.

The nursery is Matt Albright Native Plant Center, located east of Port Angeles in Robin Hill Farm County Park. Volunteers are needed to help transplant native seedlings, clean and sow seed, and care for the thousands of native plants that will be planted in former Lake Mills this fall.

Regular volunteer drop-in days at the nursery are Mondays and Wednesdays, 9am to 4pm.

For more information about volunteer opportunities with the Elwha River Restoration Revegetation Project, contact Jill Zarzeczny at Jill_Zarzeczny@nps.gov or 360.565.3047

More information about Elwha River Restoration is featured on the park’s website

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