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New beaches forming at Elwha mouth

April 14th, 2014 - 5:30am

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) - After a dam was removed from the Olympic Peninsula's Elwha River, about 3.3 million cubic yards of sediment from the dam lakes streamed down the river between November 2012 and September 2013, according to U.S. Geological Survey estimates.

The result was a changing river mouth and new beaches.

The Peninsula Daily News reports that the sediment released by the removal of the dam has built up so much at the river's mouth that areas that were underwater before the dams were removed are now land for hikers.

Millions of cubic yards of sediment have been released from the bottom of the lakes that once bore the names Aldwell and Mills as part of the $325 million Elwha River dam-removal and restoration project begun in September 2011. The 108-foot, century-old Elwha Dam, which once cradled Lake Aldwell, was completely removed by March 2012, while all but 30 feet remain of the once-210-foot Glines Canyon Dam.


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