Symposium details the changing Elwha


Restoration of the Elwha River, including the nation’s largest dam removal to date, is the backdrop for the second Elwha River Science Symposium, scheduled for Aug. 20-24 at the campuses of Peninsula College and NatureBridge Olympic National Park. 

The symposium features presentations of recent scientific studies, as well as lectures from nationally recognized scholars in the fields of fisheries biology, geomorphology, ecosystem health and dam removal and river policy.

Two free events will be offered for the public at Peninsula College’s Little Theater and will be streamed live online. At 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, the public is invited to an overview and update on the Elwha River Restoration Project. 

Dr. Luke Robins, president of Peninsula College; Todd Suess, acting superintendent of Olympic National Park; and Frances Charles, chairman of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, open the program. Featured speakers include Lynda Mapes, a Seattle Times reporter, and John Gussman, a Sequim-based cinematographer. An informal poster session follows the presentations, with scientists available to answer questions.

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, the public is invited to join a panel of experts for two hours as they discuss what they’ve learned during the first year of the project. 

Panelists include Brian Krohmer, project manager for Barnard Construction; Tim Randle, hydraulic engineer for the Bureau of Reclamation; George Press, Fisheries biologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Guy Gelfenbaum, Coastal Geologic and Oceanographic Researcher for U.S. Geological Survey; Mike McHenry, Fisheries habitat biologist for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe; and Joshua Chenoweth, botanical restorationist for Olympic National Park.

The presentations are followed by a question-and-answer session with both live and online audiences.

A live webcast of both events will be available for those who cannot attend in person. More information on the live webcasts can be found at:

The symposium is being planned and organized by members of the Elwha Research Consortium, a strategic partnership of government agencies, research and educational institutions, and community groups focused on understanding the social and ecological effects of dam removal and restoration activities in the Elwha River watershed. 

Consortium member organizations include the U.S. Geological Survey, Olympic National Park, Reclamation, Elwha Nearshore Consortium, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Peninsula College.

More information on the Elwha River Science Symposium can be found at
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