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robertogreco : rivers   48

Think Like a Scientist: Renewal on Vimeo
[via: "How the Elwha River Was Saved: The inside story of the largest dam removal project in US history."
http://tlas.nautil.us/video/291/how-the-elwha-river-was-saved

"I know firsthand what a hydroelectric dam can do to the environment. As a tribal member growing up on the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe’s reservation, the Elwha River and its two hydroelectric dams were in my backyard. Before the dams, whose construction began in 1910, the river was rich with several species of fish, including steelhead trout, and all five species of Pacific salmon. My great-grandfather and tribal elder, Edward Sampson, shared stories with me of catching 100-pound Chinook salmon, then watching the salmon populations decline when the dams came. Salmon have always been culturally and spiritually important to my tribe. They are treated reverently, and celebrated with ceremonies after the first catch of each year.

The Elwha dams were built without fish ladders, gently sloping structures that connect waters on either side of the dam. These ladders are important for anadromous fish, meaning stream-born fish that live part of their lives in the ocean and later return to their natal streams to spawn. Salmons are anadromous, and carry with them marine-derived nutrients that are important to the entire Elwha watershed ecosystem. Salmon carcasses provide nutrients for other wildlife and fertilizer for riparian vegetation.

My work has strengthened my ties to my home.

Without fish ladders, the dams blocked access by salmon to 90 percent of their historic spawning grounds, halted the flow of marine-derived nutrients into the ecosystem, and dramatically reduced salmon populations. They also negated agreements in the tribe’s 1855 Point No Point Treaty, which stated that it would have permanent fishing rights on the Elwha River.

The history of the dam was tightly woven in the history of my own family. My grandfather worked for the company that ran the dams for his entire career, while my grandmother was an activist working to remove the dams and restore the salmon populations. Then, on Sept. 17, 2011, the largest dam removal and river restoration project in United States history was set into motion. Both dams were removed, and the Elwha River began to flow freely again for the first time in 100 years.

My realization of the role people have in ecosystem health, brought about in part by watching my tribe fight for the removal of the dams and the restoration of the salmon, inspired me to pursue a career working in natural resources. I decided to return to my home on the reservation to pursue a degree in environmental science at Western Washington University, after attending the University of Hawaii at Mānoa for two years and studying marine biology. I was hired as an intern for the tribe’s wildlife program in 2014. Four months into my internship, I was hired for a part-time position by the tribe’s wildlife program manager, Kim Sager-Fradkin, while maintaining a full-time student schedule. In addition to a Columbian black-tailed deer mortality study, this program gave me an opportunity to study Elwha river otters and to be a part of an Elwha River Restoration wildlife monitoring project.

I am particularly proud of my involvement in the three-year, collaborative study monitoring Elwha wildlife recolonization. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, the United States Geological Survey, the National Park Service, and Western Washington University were all involved. The study gave me the opportunity to survey beavers, songbirds, deer and elk, vegetation and large woody debris, and small mammal trapping surveys. The experiences I’ve had during this study observing wildlife interactions with the environment over time have reinforced my desire to further my education studying population ecology. Because of this, I will be starting graduate school at the University of Idaho with a newly-funded project to study cougar population size and structure on the Olympic Peninsula.

My work has strengthened my ties to my home. In the years since I’ve returned, I’ve become closer with my tribal and scientific communities, and have grown an even stronger appreciation for the Elwha River ecosystem. The river restoration has been a major success for the Klallam people, and proves the effectiveness of methods for ecosystem restoration that will hopefully be used as a model in other restoration efforts worldwide. And for me personally, the experience of working on this restoration project and seeing firsthand the regeneration of the former lakebeds and of the historic lands of my people has been incredibly reaffirming."]
elwah  elwahiver  washingtonstate  2018  cameronmacias  rivers  nature  conservation  ecosystems  ecology  wildlife  dams  salmon  multispecies  morethanhuman  fish  klallam  olympicpeninsula  clallamcounty  restoration 
february 2019 by robertogreco
Warnings Along the Drought Line – BLDGBLOG
"Elise Hunchuck, whose project “An Incomplete Atlas of Stones” sought to document warning stones placed along the Japanese coast to indicate safe building limits in case of tsunamis, has called my attention to a somewhat related phenomena in Central Europe.

So-called “hunger stones” have been uncovered by the low-flowing, drought-reduced waters of Czech Republic’s Elbe River, NPR reports. Hunger stones are “carved boulders… that have been used for centuries to commemorate historic droughts—and warn of their consequences.” One stone, we read, has been carved with the phrase, Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine, or “If you see me, weep.”

Although there are apparently extenuating circumstances for the rocks’ newfound visibility—including a modern-day dam constructed on the Elbe River which has affected water levels—I nonetheless remain haunted by the idea of uncovering buried or submerged warnings from our own ancestors stating that, in a sense, if you are reading this, you are already doomed.

Read a bit more over at NPR."
bldgblog  stones  multispecies  morethanhuman  warnings  drought  czechrepublic  elisehunchuck  climatechange  climate  memory  legacy  communication  rivers  europe  2018  history 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Should Rivers Have Rights? A Growing Movement Says It’s About Time - Yale E360
"Inspired by indigenous views of nature, a movement to grant a form of legal “personhood” to rivers is gaining some ground — a key step, advocates say, in reversing centuries of damage inflicted upon the world’s waterways."
rivers  rights  nature  multispecies  morethanhuman  2018  personhood  chile  ecosystems  law  legal  jensbenöhr  patricklynch  indigeneity 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Below the Surface - Archeologische vondsten Noord/Zuidlijn Amsterdam
"The archaeological project of the North/South metro line

Urban histories can be told in a thousand ways. The archaeological research project of the North/South metro line lends the River Amstel a voice in the historical portrayal of Amsterdam. The Amstel was once the vital artery, the central axis, of the city. Along the banks of the Amstel, at its mouth in the IJ, a small trading port originated about 800 years ago. At Damrak and Rokin in the city centre, archaeologists had a chance to physically access the riverbed, thanks to the excavations for the massive infrastructure project of the North/South metro line between 2003 and 2012.

Rivers in cities are unlikely archaeological sites. It is not often that a riverbed, let alone one in the middle of a city, is pumped dry and can be systematically examined. The excavations in the Amstel yielded a deluge of finds, some 700,000 in all: a vast array of objects, some broken, some whole, all jumbled together. Damrak and Rokin proved to be extremely rich sites on account of the waste that had been dumped in the river for centuries and the objects accidentally lost in the water. The enormous quantity, great variety and everyday nature of these material remains make them rare sources of urban history. The richly assorted collection covers a vast stretch of time, from long before the emergence of the city right up to the present day. The objects paint a multi-facetted picture of daily life in the city of Amsterdam. Every find is a frozen moment in time, connecting the past and the present. The picture they paint of their era is extremely detailed and yet entirely random due to the chance of objects or remains sinking down into the riverbed and being retrieved from there. This is what makes this archaeological collection so fascinating, so poetically breathtaking and abstract at one and the same time.

In the following pages the scope and methods of the excavations are explained with special reference to the special nature of the River Amstel as an archaeological site, the specific goals of the research at Damrak and Rokin and the digital processing of the hundreds of thousands of finds, resulting in the website belowthesurface.amsterdam and the catalogue Stuff which presents 11,279 photographs of finds of the North/South metro line archaeological project."
amsterdam  history  museums  archaeology  rivers  cities  webdev  archives  time  timelines  collections  classideas 
june 2018 by robertogreco
In New Zealand, Lands and Rivers Can Be People (Legally Speaking) - The New York Times
"Can a stretch of land be a person in the eyes of the law? Can a body of water?

In New Zealand, they can. A former national park has been granted personhood, and a river system is expected to receive the same soon.

The unusual designations, something like the legal status that corporations possess, came out of agreements between New Zealand’s government and Maori groups. The two sides have argued for years over guardianship of the country’s natural features.

Chris Finlayson, New Zealand’s attorney general, said the issue was resolved by taking the Maori mind-set into account. “In their worldview, ‘I am the river and the river is me,’” he said. “Their geographic region is part and parcel of who they are.”

From 1954 to 2014, Te Urewera was an 821-square-mile national park on the North Island, but when the Te Urewera Act took effect, the government gave up formal ownership, and the land became a legal entity with “all the rights, powers, duties and liabilities of a legal person,” as the statute puts it.

“The settlement is a profound alternative to the human presumption of sovereignty over the natural world,” said Pita Sharples, who was the minister of Maori affairs when the law was passed.

It was also “undoubtedly legally revolutionary” in New Zealand “and on a world scale,” Jacinta Ruru of the University of Otago wrote in the Maori Law Review.

Personhood means, among other things, that lawsuits to protect the land can be brought on behalf of the land itself, with no need to show harm to a particular human.

Next will be the Whanganui River, New Zealand’s third longest. The local Maori tribe views it as “an indivisible and living whole, comprising the river and all tributaries from the mountains to the sea — and that’s what we are giving effect to through this settlement,” Mr. Finlayson said. It is expected to clear Parliament and become law this year.

Visitors can still enjoy Te Urewera the way they could when it was a park. “We want to welcome people; public access is completely preserved,” Mr. Finlayson said. But permits for activities like hunting are now issued by a board that includes government and Maori representatives. A similar board will be set up for the river.

Could this legal approach spread beyond New Zealand? Mr. Finlayson said he had talked the idea over with Canada’s new attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould."
newzealand  land  rivers  law  legal  nature  2016  maori  personhood  via:anne 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Just Subtract Water: The Los Angeles River and a Robert Moses with the Soul of a Jane Jacobs - The Los Angeles Review of Books
"Archival photographs taken in the late 19th and early 20th centuries show the LA River as a spreading arroyo of sand and gravel, crazy-quilting the basin for much of its length. It coursed into Santa Monica bay in the early 19th century before shifting to the Los Angeles Harbor, leaving Ballona Creek in its wake on the Ballona Creek watershed. The LA River as it eventually ran from the Valley toward Long Beach was never a miniature Hudson or Mississippi or Nile — wide, flowing, and storied — but a rugged and dry wash for most of the year, crisscrossing the alluvial fan and changing course and direction in a swath eight miles wide in places.

The character of this indeterminate river of changeable mind, alternately casual and violent, was transformed big-time after the 1938 deluge, when 3 million barrels of concrete were dedicated to a single purpose: flood-control management. From Canoga Park in the west San Fernando Valley down to the harbor, its wild, open, and sprawling Zane Grey character vanished into a canyon of concrete.

The river in this form was not designed as a social amenity. The goal-oriented engineers conceived the LA River as a highway for floodwater, to be left virtually vacant otherwise, for most of the year. For some, the river has seemed entombed by a brutal material cast in cold, hostile geometries. After a storm, the river was also treacherous, the pitch accelerating the flow. If the Mississippi seems lazy, it’s partially because it drops about 800 feet in 1,200 miles (if you start at Minneapolis). No rush. The LA River is amphetamine by comparison, dropping by about the same elevation but in only 51 miles.

The ripple effect of the channeled river wasn’t pretty either. The newly defined and protected shoulders of the river were dedicated to electric transformer substations, high-tension wires, warehouses, factories, jails, sanitation truck parking lots, rail lines, and rail yards. It was an industrial service corridor that wasn’t riparian and verdant.

But then it never really had been.

The invisible tributaries to this river of concrete were the street and drainage systems, and as the drought forces hydrologists to look for other sources of water through an integrated program of water usage, including retention, conservation, and recycling, they have come to understand that the river is symptomatic of a paved-over landscape. Focus has widened beyond the Narrows and even the entire 51-mile length of the river to a macro scale and a more holistic understanding of the basin and region.

The drought has changed the game, but another primary factor is the leadership of Mayor Eric Garcetti, who early in his term identified his mayoralty with the river: soon after his election, photos of the mayor kayaking in the river went up in LAX terminals. Perhaps because he grew up in Encino, where he walked alongside the river with his sister and father, and because he represented Silver Lake and other river communities in the City Council, Garcetti has dedicated considerable political will, energy, and capital to a cause he has cared about for decades.

In 2014, he established the multidisciplinary, multi-departmental LA Riverworks department within his own office to coordinate the implementation of the whole river vision, including the 2007 Revitalization Plan, the Army Corps’s Ecosystem Restoration Study, and other plans. “To get anything done in LA, it helps to have the headquarters in the mayor’s office to show the issue is central to the City plans,” Garcetti says, back to normal just a day after a terrorist threat shut down LA schools. “This was a way to centralize cooperation and formalize commitment to the river. It’s a one-stop shop for people to cohabitate, and a reflection of how important the issue is to me.”

The river is playing a role in Garcetti’s bid to bring the 2024 Olympics to Los Angeles: several sites along the river are being considered as possible venues for Olympics-related structures.

Early last year, the independent Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation wooed Frank Gehry, inviting the Los Angeles architect to study the river and make proposals encompassing everything from the river to the watersheds. “Frank called me and asked me if the invitation was real, and whether it had my support,” says the mayor, “and since I was committed, he committed. Then there was a spillover effect: if he was involved, others wanted to be involved.” Tapping the glocal Gehry, a popular avuncular figure, switched the kliegs onto the river, galvanizing public attention — and lately governmental support: the state has just awarded a $1.5 million grant for Gehry to complete the first phase of a study on which he and his consultants have already worked pro bono for 10 months.

When his involvement was announced, Gehry’s first comments pointed to issues beyond the prevalent notion of the river as a landscaping opportunity. Like Mr. McGuire in The Graduate wanting to say just one word — plastics — to Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman’s character), Gehry memorably uttered hydrology: he would only be interested in the river project if addressed from a water-reclamation point of view. To recharge the basin, he would have to look at the whole river in the context of the larger water ecosystem, and not just the 32-mile Los Angeles city corridor."



"Besides expanding the scope of the inquiry, Gehry has already challenged assumptions. By admitting “concrete” to the palette of ideas, he has expanded the basis of the investigation from plant materials and river cross-sections to include other architectural and cultural issues. There is a place for intimacy and a place for monumentality, and for all the talk about speaking for the river, holding the microphone requires closer listening to what the entire length of the river says it wants to be. The LA River is many rivers, and its character shifts along its course, especially because it widens downstream, as more water enters the channel. Total landscaping is not the answer when the river might be calling for sports stadia with bleachers nested into the embankments.

Confronted with perhaps the largest project of his career, and what could be the commission of an already remarkable lifetime, Gehry didn’t balk at the scale of the endeavor but immediately expressed founding perceptions — hydrology and concrete — with large-scale consequences that break through existing assumptions. The concepts establish an expanded basis for going forward. Angelenos and others have wondered why he has parachuted into the problem. But few people, if any, are better qualified to see the river in all its complexities, and then answer the complexities with proposals. And few figures have the skills to coalesce a broad-based effort that can unite the city. He is a Robert Moses with the soul of a Jane Jacobs.

No one asked for the drought, but it has arrived and is shaping imperatives for the basin’s hydrology, and with it the shape and character of the river and the city itself, recentering it with a common core. In a short period of time, Gehry has assimilated and expanded a complex and lively conversation.

Garcetti explains that the river is not just the geographic heart of the city but also its historic heart. The waterway, which predates people, set pathways for the Tongva, then roads for the Spanish, and then our freeways. A quarter of LA’s population lives within walking distance of the river. “Running from the Valley to Long Beach, it’s really the backbone of the city. Reclaiming the river gives us the ability to reclaim our past and set our future. To me it’s more dynamic than just a magnet or a center. As I’ve said many times, it’s the zipper that can bring us together.”

After the devastating fire of 1871, Chicago remade itself into a modern city, based on innovative architecture and progressive urban planning. Through what seems a propitious alignment of political will, public interest, talent, and momentum, this is LA’s moment to seize its day. A revitalized river running through our megalopolis has the potential not only to revitalize the river, but also to revitalize Los Angeles itself."
losangeles  losangelesriver  lariver  history  cities  california  floodcontrol  2015  josephgiovannini  ericgarcetti  urbanplanning  parks  nature  rivers  urban  urbanism  lariverworks  architecture 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Orion Magazine | The Rules of the River
"At midnight on the Toklat River in the Alaska Range, the thermometer recorded ninety-three degrees. The sun, dragging anchor in the northwest sky, fired rounds of heat against the cabin. I was lying naked on the bunk, slapping mosquitos. Next to the wall, my husband lay completely covered by a white sheet, as still and dismayed as a corpse. He would rather be hot than bitten, and I would rather be bitten than hot.

I had come to the Toklat River to think about global warming, and it wasn’t going well. The week’s heat was breaking all-time records, drawing a new spike on the graph of jaggedly rising temperatures in Alaska. The average day is now four degrees warmer than just a few decades ago, and seven degrees warmer in winter. The Arctic is heating twice as fast as the rest of the world.

Furious and despairing, I had no chance of falling asleep that night. So I pulled on clothes and walked to the bank of the river.

The Toklat is a shallow river that braids across a good half mile of gravel beds, dried stream courses, and deep-dug channels. Sloshing with meltwater, it clatters along among islands and willow thickets. Banging rocks on cobblestones, surging into confused swells, the gray currents that night looked unpredictable and chaotic. But there were patterns.

A hydrologist once explained the rules of rivers to me as we walked a river-path. The dynamics of a river are manifestations of energy, he said. A fast, high-energy river will carry particles—the faster the river, the bigger the particle. But when it loses energy and slows, the river drops what it carries. So anything that slows a river can make a new landscape. It could be a stick lodged against a stone or the ribcage of a calf moose drowned at high water. Where the water piles against the obstacle, it drops its load, and an island begins to form. The island—in fact, any deposition—reshapes the current. As water curls around the obstacle, the current’s own force turns it upstream. Around one small change, the energy reorganizes itself entirely.

And here’s the point: no one pattern continues indefinitely; it always gives way to another. When there are so many obstacles and islands that a channel can no longer carry all its water and sediment, it crosses a stability threshold and the current carves a different direction. The change is usually sudden, often dramatic, the hydrologist said, a process called avulsion.

On the Toklat that night, the physics of the river played out right in front of me. A chunk of dirt and roots toppled from the bank, tumbled past me, and jammed against a mid-river stone. The current, dividing itself around the rootball, wrinkled sideways and turned upstream. It curled into pocket-eddies behind the roots. Even as I watched, the pockets filled with gravel and sand. A willow could grow there, and its roots could divide and slow the river further, gathering more gravel, creating a place where new life could take root.

I shoved a rock into the river. The sudden curl of current made me grin. Yes, we are caught up in a river rushing toward a hot, stormy, and dangerous planet. The river is powered by huge amounts of money invested in mistakes that are dug into the very structure of the land, a tangled braid of fearful politicians, preoccupied consumers, reckless corporations, and bewildered children—everyone, in some odd way, feeling helpless. Of course, we despair. How will we ever dam this flood?

But we don’t have to stop the river. Our work and the work of every person who loves this world—this one—is to make one small deflection in complacency, a small obstruction to profits, a blockage to business-as-usual, then another, and another, to change the energy of the flood. As it swirls around these snags and subversions, the current will slow, lose power, eddy in new directions, and create new systems and structures that change its course forever. On these small islands, new ideas will grow, creating thickets of living things and life-ways we haven’t yet imagined.

This is the work of disruption. This is the work of radical imagination. This is the work of witness. This is the steadfast, conscientious refusal to let a hell-bent economy force us to row its boat. This is much better than stewing in the night."
kathleendeanmoore  2014  via:anne  disruption  imagination  radicalism  witness  witnessing  conscientiousness  economics  work  complacency  globalwarming  alaska  arctic  toklatriver  rivers  patterns  continuity  change  avulsion 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Map | Platte Basin Timelapse
"A Watershed In Motion

Imagine if you could follow a drop of water on a 900-mile journey downstream from mountains to plains. Imagine you could listen to its myriad stories as it makes its way from an alpine trout stream to a prairie river full of cranes, or from a staircase of massive dams and reservoirs to a six inch pipe that waters a farmer's thirsty crop field.

Once considered part of the Great American Desert, the Platte River Basin is one of the most appropriated river systems in the world. Every drop of water is spoken for, and little is free.

The basin supports an industrial agricultural powerhouse laid over one of the most endangered and altered grassland ecosystems on earth. Beneath the ground it harbors more than half of the mighty Ogallala Aquifer; fossil water whose quantity and quality are now at stake. Today this basin is being asked to be both food producer and energy pump in an age of climate change and economic uncertainty.

What if we could use the tremendous power of photography and storytelling to see a watershed in motion? What if we could leverage those images to dig deeper and grow understanding about our water resources, and build community throughout a watershed? What if this could be used as a template to start a conversation and look at other stressed watersheds around the world?

This is what inspires us. This is our aim. Join us on the journey."
watershed  maps  mapping  platteriver  oglallaaquifer  rivers  us  nebraska  wyoming  colorado 
may 2015 by robertogreco
VIDEO of the flood-swollen Elwha River in Olympic National Park -- Port Angeles Port Townsend Sequim Forks Jefferson County Clallam County Olympic Peninsula Daily NEWS
"JOHN GUSSMAN — the Sequim-based cinematographer who has been documenting the $325 million Elwha River restoration/dam removal project — has shared a new 2-minute video — below, https://vimeo.com/119029319 — taken Friday of the Elwha.

The river, now free of its two dams and swollen by heavy rains, roars through Olympic National Park west of Port Angeles."

[video: "Flooding on the Elwha 2/6/15"
https://vimeo.com/119029319 ]

[See also: http://exotichikes.com/video-shows-elwha-river-flooding-may-close-access-to-the-region/ ]
elwha  elwhariver  rewilding  rivers  washingtonstate  olympicpeninsula  2015  nature  dams 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Return of the River: Can the Elwha Dam Inform Other Restoration Projects? | The Stream | OutsideOnline.com
"Can the largest river restoration project in history serve as a template for other waterways across the country?"
elwha  elwhariver  rewilding  rivers  washingtonstate  olympicpeninsula  2015  nature  dams 
february 2015 by robertogreco
A Drone's Eye View of the Elwha River » News » OPB
"Scientists have been looking at all angles of the Elwha River since deconstruction began on two dams just over a year ago. They’ve been testing turbidity, tracking river otters and conducting an ongoing salmon census.

And now they’re using remote-control planes to record high-definition video and thermal images. They’re securing a small camera to a 4-foot wide drone, which can flies as high as 500 feet over the river.

Last week researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey stood on the banks of Lake Mills, which was formed by the 210-foot Glines Canyon dam, and launched the camera-toting drone called a Raven. It flew for about 30 minutes over the exposed reservoir showing the vast fields of sediment that have built up behind the dam over the last 85 years.

Watch this video to see highlights from the drone’s most recent flight:

[video: https://vimeo.com/50813890 ]

By studying every inch of the Elwha, scientists hope to answer big questions about dam removal: What happens to the fish? What happens to the massive reserves of sediment? And what happens to the barren, unvegetated areas of the emptied reservoirs?

The drone video research of the Elwha is a collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Park Service."
elwha  elwhariver  rewilding  rivers  washingtonstate  olympicpeninsula  nature  dams  2012  drones 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Finding the River: An Environmental History of the Elwha: Jeff Crane: 9780870716072: Amazon.com: Books
"In 1992 landmark federal legislation called for the removal of two dams from the Elwha River to restore salmon runs. Jeff Crane dives into the debate over development and ecological preservation in Finding the River, presenting a long-term environmental and human history of the river as well as a unique look at river reconstruction.

Finding the River examines the ways that different communities--from the Lower Elwha Klallam Indians to current-day residents--have used the river and its resources, giving close attention to the harnessing of the Elwha for hydroelectric production and the resulting decline of its fisheries. Jeff Crane describes efforts begun in the 1980s to remove the dams and restore the salmon. He explores the rise of a river restoration movement in the late twentieth century and the roles that free-flowing rivers could play in preserving salmon as global warming presents another set of threats to these endangered fish.

A significant and timely contribution to American Western and environmental history--removal of the two Elwha River dams is scheduled to begin in September 2011--Finding the River will be of interest to historians, to environmentalists, and to fisheries biologists, as well as to general readers interested in the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula and environmental issues"
elwha  elwhariver  rewilding  rivers  washingtonstate  olympicpeninsula  nature  dams  2011  books  jeffcrane  1992  ecology 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Recruitment of Entropy (Advancing Deltas V) | Free Association Design
"There is a peculiar appeal to situations like this, landscapes that are being redrawn or thrust into an entirely different trajectory. It could be anything from a volcanic eruption to a twinkling New Urbanist development. It’s the effort of transformation itself – its process – that is intriguing. This brings to mind Bruno Latour’s critique of both “nature” and of the “social” as existing a priori, as taken-for-granted given substances of sorts. Rather, he contends, both are constantly being negotiated, remade or forcefully sustained by a shifting multitude of participants, human and non. And further, the distinction between these two collectives doesn’t hold up under scrutiny, as we can see in the former reservoir of Condit Dam.

One of the most useful aspects of actor-network-theory (I think) is its investigative emphasis on change and transition. During such times, we get a better glimpse of what the social is composed of, its peculiar ‘web of associations’ [iii]. When situations drastically change or things quite functioning nature as given substance evaporates and we are better able to see the diverse and dynamic multitude arduously creating it."
elwha  elwhariver  rewilding  rivers  washingtonstate  olympicpeninsula  2012  nature  dams  landscape  maps  mapping 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Elwha River: Rebirth of a River | Science Features
"USGS is monitoring and analyzing river fish, waters and sediment before and after the removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon Dams."
elwha  elwhariver  rewilding  rivers  washingtonstate  olympicpeninsula  nature  dams  usgs  2011 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Return of the River - A documentary film about the Elwha River, the removal of its dams and the restoration of an ecosystem.
[trailer: https://vimeo.com/86488251 ]

""Return of the River" offers a story of hope and possibility amid grim environmental news. It is a film for our time: an invitation to consider crazy ideas that could transform the world for the better. It features an unlikely success story for environmental and cultural restoration.

Fundamentally, the Elwha River in Washington State is a story about people and the land they inhabit. The film captures the tenacity of individuals who would not give up on a river, mirroring the tenacity of salmon headed upstream to spawn. It is a narrative with global ramifications, exploring the complex relationship between communities and the environment that sustains them.

The camera soars over mountain headwaters, dives into schools of salmon, and captures turbines grinding to a halt; as the largest dam removal project in history begins. The film features people and perspectives on all sides of the Elwha debate, reflecting the many voices of the Elwha valley."
elwha  elwhariver  washingtonstate  olympicpeninsula  dams  rewilding  documentary  rivers  nature  2014johngussman  jessicaplumb  sarahhart 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Saving the Colorado River Delta, One Habitat at a Time
"It served as a critical stopover point for hundreds of migratory bird species and the winter or permanent home of dozens of species of waterbirds, including 75 percent of the world's endangered Yuma clapper rails, said Hinojosa Huerta. Local communities relied on its rich natural resources—until the Colorado's final dams went up in the 1960s, and the delta turned into desert.


Before 2004, conservationists were prevented—by Mexico's National Water Law and binational treaty—from "wasting" Colorado River water on the environment. But 17 years of negotiations by Hinojosa Huerta and others has led to agreements between the U.S. and Mexico that have paved the way for restoration.


Under a 2012 agreement known as Minute 319, the delta is to receive 158,088 acre-feet (195 million cubic meters) of water by 2017, when the agreement expires. Although that's less than one percent of the river's pre-dam flow, it will have a meaningful impact on wildlife, said Hinojosa Huerta."
via:vruba  coloradoriver  coloradoriverdelta  rivers  mexico  us  2014  biodiversity  nature  wildlife  california  arizona 
january 2015 by robertogreco
CTRL – Z – Lessons From Herons
"Earlier in the trip we had gone to the Jamestown S’Klallam carving shed and wondered at the size of logs that were waiting to be carved into totem poles- huge logs, 700 or 800 years old, the woodcarver had said, but they were only half as big around as this stump.

We can free the Elwha and its salmon, but we can’t know what it would have looked like if we had never dammed it. And we’ll never have that tree back, and in a hundred years, there may well be tame elk and black bears at the Olympic Game Farm, or a population of feral yaks on the Olympic Peninsula."
olympicpeninsula  sequim  elwha  elwhariver  anthropocence  olympicgamefarm  jamestowns'klallam  dams  nature  time  animals  wildlife  salmon  via:vruba  rivers  rewilding  washingtonstate 
october 2014 by robertogreco
River Reciprocity | The Evergreen State College
"This interdisciplinary science and visual arts program is focused on rivers, streams, and watersheds and is designed for beginning students in art and ecology. Students will explore the role of art and science in helping people develop a deep and reciprocal relationship with a watershed. We will study physical stream characteristics that affect the distributions and relationships among biological organisms. We will develop observational skills in both art and science as well as keep illustrated field journals that are inspired by a connection to a specific stream.

The first half of the program focuses on the Nisqually River watershed. Through readings and field studies, students will learn the history of the watershed, study concepts in stream ecology, learn to identify native plants in the watershed, and learn about current conservation efforts. We will work with local K-12 schools to conduct water quality testing, identify aquatic macroinvertebrates, and provide environmental education to elementary school students. The study of freshwater ecology will include basic water chemistry, stream flow dynamics, primary productivity, organic matter and nutrient dynamics, aquatic insect taxonomy, ecological interactions, current threats to freshwater ecosystems, and ecological restoration. The program will focus on current research in riparian zones, streams, rivers, and watersheds. Students will have opportunities to be involved in small-scale group research projects in stream ecology. An overnight field trip will be organized to provide in-depth experiences in the field and study of rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.

Students will develop beginning drawing skills and practice techniques for keeping an illustrated field journal. They will work in charcoal, chalk pastel, watercolor, and colored pencil. They will explore strategies for using notes and sketches to inspire more finished artworks. Through lectures and readings, students will study artists whose work is inspired by their deep connection to a place. Each student will visit a local stream regularly and, in the second half of the quarter, will create a series of artworks or an environmental education project that gives something back to their watershed."
aesthetics  ecology  environmentalstudies  environment  fieldstudies  naturalhistory  visualarts  art  watershed  carrileroy  luciaharrison  evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  restoration  naturalresources  rivers  streams 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Mapbox Satellite gets 48TB facelift | Mapbox
"We just added 48 terabytes of updated aerial imagery for the entire continental United States. Starting today users will see the updated imagery at zoom levels 13-17 on Mapbox Satellite. The new imagery is beautiful -- and it's all made possible by open data from the USDA's National Agriculture Imagery Program.

Our image processing pipeline, built on top of Amazon Web Services' cloud infrastructure, ingested the 24 hard drives worth of orthoimagery and perform a series of image calibration and adjustment routines to produce a seamless mosaic basemap that is fast, accurate, and beautiful. We'll be going into more detail about the processing pipeline and how this relates to Satellite Live in a few days."



[includes]

"The Elwha Dam, on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, was demolished in 2011. What used to be its lake is turning into meadows and sandy riverbanks."
mapbox  satellite  imagery  2014  usda  elwha  elwhariver  washingtonstate  olympicpeninsula  rivers  rewilding  nature  dams 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The Ambitious Restoration of An Undammed Western River by Caroline Fraser: Yale Environment 360
"With the dismantling of two dams on Washington state’s Elwha River, the world’s largest dam removal project is almost complete. Now, in one of the most extensive U.S. ecological restorations ever attempted, efforts are underway to revive one of the Pacific Northwest’s great salmon rivers."
washingtonstate  elwha  salmon  dams  damremoval  via:javierarbona  renaturalization  restoration  nature  elwhariver  rivers  rewilding  olympicpeninsula 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Powering A Nation.org
"Our 2013 Fellows present a Powering a Nation special report, “Over Water Under Fire.”

The interactive documentary, "Over Water Under Fire," combines a video narrative with motion graphics and text to present the Colorado River as a living timeline of our nation's innovations and exploitations with water as the river's uncertain future echoes the precarious state of water resources in this country. The graphics and text pieces will focus on how humans have physically altered the environment along the river in response to limited water resources, how the river has responded to those changes and what choices the country will have to make in the future.

The narrative arc is integrated with a video story on Special Ops veterans who come back from battle zones with PTSD and take a river trip called "Warriors on Cataract" as a means of therapy. These veterans emphasize the human connection to water resources and subtly echo the theme of U.S. resource allocation."

[See also: http://www.poweringanation.org/water2013/ ]
activism  climate  coal  energy  water  veterans  storytelling  interactivefilm  interactive  ptsd  interactivedocumentary  documentary  climatechange  us  rivers  2013  coloradoriver 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Welcome to National Atlas Streamer!
"Explore America's larger streams as you trace upstream to their source or downstream to where they empty.

Learn more about your stream traces and the places they pass through in brief or detailed reports."
geology  maps  rivers  usgs  mapping  water  streams  watershed 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Pruned: The 25-Year Riverine Journey of a Wooden Boulder Carved out of a Felled 200-Year-Old Oak Tree
"Beginning in 1978, when a spherical chunk of oak got lodged in a stream as he was moving it to his studio, the sculptor David Nash has documented its long riverine journey.

“For 25 years,” Nash writes, “I have followed its engagement with the weather, gravity and the seasons. It became a stepping-stone into the drama of physical geography. Spheres imply movement and initially I helped it to move, but after a few years I observed it only intervening when absolutely necessary - when it became wedged under a bridge.”

The journey is so extraordinary — made more so perhaps by the fact that it's so well-documented — that we can't help but quote the rest of Nash's accounts:…"
theelements  water  tides  dwyryd  rivers  landscape  wood  nature  motion  movement  time  davidnash  art 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Section of L.A. River through the Valley opens to tours - latimes.com
"A 1.5-mile stretch of the waterway through the Sepulveda Basin, which for years operated as a flood-control channel, is expected to become a summer tourist draw."
2012  losangelesriver  lariver  rivers  losangeles 
july 2012 by robertogreco
2001: An Interview with Kathleen Dean Moore | Derrick Jensen
[via: http://randallszott.org/2012/07/05/philosophy-a-living-practice-grace-place-and-the-natural-world-kathleen-dean-moore-the-ecology-of-love/ ]

[broken link, now here: https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/303/a-weakened-world-cannot-forgive-us

and here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FDgoxH2-YWV1mqQH5mjNF3tvV_jLzgrcXmBTnb68SbM/edit (and a copy in my Google Drive)]

“Philosophers fretted that the world would disappear if they turned their backs, but when I closed their finely argued books and switched off the light, it was their worries that disappeared, not the world.”

"Not just our bodies, but our minds – our ideas, our emotions, our characters, our identities – are shaped, in part, by places. Alienation from the land is an alienation from the self, which causes sadness. And the opposite is true, too: there’s a goofy joy to finding ourselves in places that have meaning for us."

"So, to a certain extent, it’s your memories that make us who we are. For example, I am the person who remembers seeing a flock of white pelicans over Thompson Lake and the apple tree in the backyard of my house. And every time I notice something, every time something strikes me as important enough to store away in my memory, I add another piece to who I am. These memories and sense impressions of the landscape are the very substance of my self. In this way, I am – at the core of my being – made of the earth."

"Memories do live in places, and if you go there, you can find them. Sometimes, if your memory is as unreliable as mine, you can find them only if you go there."

"Environmental destruction is a kind of self-destruction. If we go around systematically destroying the places that hold meaning for us, that hold our memories, then we become fragmented and don’t have a sense of who we are."

"One of my colleagues says that, if there is eternal life, it isn’t found in the length of one’s life, but in its depth. That makes sense to me. I have no doubt that each life has a definite limit, an endpoint, but I don’t think there is any limit to the potential depth of each moment, and I try to live in a way that reaches into those depths. I want to live thickly, in layers of ideas and emotions and sensory experience. I recommend a way of life that is rich with noticing, caring, remembering, embracing, and rejoicing – in the smell of a child’s hair or the color of storm light."

"We lead lives of relentless separation – comings and goings, airport embraces, loneliness, locked doors, notes left by the phone. And the deepest of all those divides is the one that separates us from the places we inhabit. Everywhere I go, I encounter people who have come from someplace else and left behind their knowledge of that land. Universities, which should study connections, specialize in distinctions instead. Biologists in their laboratories forget that they are natural philosophers. Philosophers themselves pluck ideas out of contexts, like worms out of holes, and hold them dangling and drying in the bright light. We lock ourselves in our houses and seal the windows and watch nature shows on tv. We don’t go out at night unless we have mace, or in the rain without a Gore-Tex jacket. No wonder we forget that we are part of the natural world, members of a natural community. If we are reminded at all, it’s only by a sense of dislocation and a sadness we can’t easily explain."

"You have to be careful how you generalize about Western philosophy, because there are so many different branches of it, and what’s true of one branch might not be true of another.

That said, I think the problem is summed up by Socrates’ statement that philosophy seeks “the true nature of everything as a whole, never sinking to what lies close at hand.” A philosopher, Socrates said, may not even know “what his next-door neighbor is doing, hardly knows, indeed, whether the creature is a man at all; he spends all his pains on the question [of] what man is.”

The implication of his statement is that, if philosophy is concerned with big, abstract ideas, then it must be di-vorced from the details of our lives. I believe that is a huge mistake. If philosophy is about big ideas, then it must be about how we live our lives. If I find out what a human being is, to borrow Socrates’ example, then I will know what makes one human life worth living."

"Jensen: I would like a philosophy that teaches me how to live: How can I be a better person? How can I live my life more fruitfully, more happily, more relationally?

Moore: These are traditionally the most significant philosophical questions, but they’ve been washed off the surface of philosophy by the twentieth century.

It’s a failure of courage, I think. Real-life issues are messy and ambiguous and contradictory and tough. But their complexity should be a reason to engage them, not a reason to turn away. The word clarity has two meanings: one ancient, the other modern. In Latin, clarus meant “clear sounding, ringing out,” so in the ancient world, clear came to mean “lustrous, splendid, radiant.” The moon has this kind of clarity when it’s full. But today that usage is obsolete. Now clear has a negatively phrased definition: “without the dimness or blurring that can obscure vision, without the confusion or doubt that can cloud thought.” For probably twenty years, I thought that this modern kind of clarity was all there was; that what I should be looking for as a philosopher was sharp-edged, single-bladed truth; that anything I couldn’t understand precisely wasn’t worth thinking about. Now I’m beginning to understand that the world is much more interesting than this."

"I’m always surprised when a nature writer describes going off alone to commune with nature. That way of relating to nature is all about isolation, and I don’t have much patience with it. To me, that’s not what being in nature is about at all.

In my life, the natural world has always been a way of connecting with people – my children, my husband, my friends. The richness of my experience in the natural world translates immediately into richer relationships with people.

I think one of the most romantic and loving things you can say to another person is “Look.” There is a kind of love in which two people look at each other, but I don’t think it’s as interesting as the love between two people standing side by side and looking at something else that moves them both.

Let’s think about this in terms of what we were saying about memory and identity: If we are our memories, then to the extent that two people share memories, they become one person. The whole notion of the joining of souls that’s supposed to happen in marriage may come down to those times when we say, “Look,” to our partner, so the two of us can capture a memory to hold in common."
2001  well-being  fluidity  consistency  truth  landscape  connectivism  ecology  ecologyoflove  surroundings  education  learning  community  socialemotional  lcproject  relationships  nature  cv  philosophy  slow  local  highereducation  highered  academia  isolationism  loneliness  isolation  kathleendeanmoore  place  leisurearts  leisure  meaning  geography  memory  memories  space  sharing  environment  environmentalism  looking  seeing  noticing  sharedexperience  beauty  communing  identity  humans  humanism  canon  reconciliation  forgiveness  life  rivers  communities  dams  artleisure  socialemotionallearning  derrickjensen 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Dam removal begins, and soon the fish will flow - latimes.com
"The destruction of Washington state's Elwha Dam gets underway. The removal of the dam and a companion will allow salmon to swim upriver for the first time in a century."
washingtonstate  elwha  elwhadam  elwhariver  dams  salmon  rivers  deconstruction  2011  rewilding  olympicpeninsula  nature 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Twisted History: The Wily Mississippi Cuts New Paths : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR
"OK, let's you and I take a trip down the Mississippi, if we can find it. It's the white channel you see on this braid of ghostly Mississippis from years past. Just scroll for a bit. It's a long river. [BEAUTIFUL, LONG, MUST-SEE IMAGE OF SEVERAL MAPS STICHED TOGETHER] The Mississippi, like all great rivers, is constantly rearranging itself, filling in where it used to be, cutting new watery paths through fields, creating islands. Back in 1944 a cartographer named Harold Fisk decided to draw a map of the Mississippi as it flowed in his day (click on this little map, so you get the full effect) The white channel is the 1944 river and working backwards from geological maps, he also drew the river as it had been in earlier decades (all those other colored ribbons) and produced a lovely fugue of multiple ghostly Mississippis for the Army Corps of Engineers — all of which allows me to tell you this story."
robertkrulwich  mississippiriver  mississippi  maps  mapping  rivers  cartography  history  time  us  geography 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Science & Environment Articles | Vermont On Cutting Edge of Flood Prevention | Miller-McCune Online Magazine
"America's rivers flood & in trying to protect against threat, Americans & governments actually make floods worse...each year billions of $ & several lives are lost, w/ many more upended. Though climate change is intensifying crisis, at its root are outdated science, leadership deficits, decisions that prize short-term profit & misguided belief that man can indefinitely restrain something as powerful...as water. Vermont...has become leader in effort to reduce costs of flooding through unconventional means: ripping out levees to let rivers flood naturally & providing towns w/ financial incentives to discourage building in floodplains. Cities from Charlotte to Portland, have taken similar actions & comparable concepts & percolating inside federal agencies...no shortage of people who know exactly what's wrong — & how to fix it. But once floodwaters recede, politics & the desire to live on waterfront trump sound thinking. Here's how...small group of people brought common sense to Vermont"
vermont  portland  oregon  policy  government  economics  flooding  rivers  us  money  floods  nature 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Cities Like Seoul Rediscover Waterways They Paved Over - NYTimes.com
"Today, after a $384 million recovery project, the stream, called Cheonggyecheon, is liberated from its dank sheath and burbles between reedy banks. Picnickers cool their bare feet in its filtered water, and carp swim in its tranquil pools.
cities  korea  rivers  streams  seoul  daylighting  environment 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Ramshackle Architecture Futures: Danube Waterways | > jim rossignol
"Assuming the world does end up flooding, thanks to defrosted polar regions, then we’re unlikely to be taking to the seas. We’re more likely to just cluster along the new coastlines, dealing with the flooding and building our new homes around it. Bruce Sterling looks at such things happening right now in this Serbian documentary, where people living on uninsurable land, or regularly flooded sections of the Danube. They are building piecemeal dwellings that either float, or are on stilts, and repurpose and reuse materials from other dwellings."
homes  housing  climatechange  europe  jimrossignol  brucesterling  video  serbia  floating  reuse  danube  rivers  architecture  design  adaptation  adaptive  adaptability 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Fifty Percent Chance Lake Mead Will Be Dry By 2021, Models Show | Wired Science from Wired.com
"Based on models constructed from the analysis of historical records from the Federal Bureau of Land Reclamation, the researchers, Tim Barnett and David Pierce, say there is a ten percent chance the reservoir will be dry in 2014, and a 50 percent chance n
water  southwest  california  lakemead  resources  us  desert  rivers  losangeles  future 
february 2008 by robertogreco
i wish god were alive to see this: When It All Comes Down, We're Gonna See A Real Masterpiece.
"Did you know you can rent a generator for $52 and set up and play ANYWHERE until the cops come?"
via:cityofsound  music  rivers  water  losangeles 
february 2008 by robertogreco
BLDGBLOG: N.A.W.A.P.A.
"Reisner describes something called N.A.W.A.P.A.: the North American Water and Power Alliance. N.A.W.A.P.A. is nothing less than the hydrological fantasy project of U.S.-based North American water engineers."
canada  future  technology  water  us  west  california  losangeles  colorado  rivers  lakes  lakesuperior  drought  futurism  northamerica 
october 2007 by robertogreco
After 93 years, L.A. gives its water back | csmonitor.com
"In what some call the most ambitious US river restoration ever, water will once again flow into the Lower Owens River."
local  losangeles  history  environment  water  rights  rivers  california 
december 2006 by robertogreco

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