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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Ecosystem Restoration Takes Precedence Over Renewable Energy Projects

 Cross posted from Energy Trends Insider.

The front page of last Sunday's edition of the Seattle Times had an article titled Elwha: Roaring Back to Life. It's an update on the many positive impacts to the river ecosystem after removal of the Glines Canyon and Elwha hydroelectric dams. Google the term "Seattle Times Elwha" to get the whole history. It's rare to find such positive news in this age of the sixth extinction event ...just wanted to share. 

Remains of Elwa Dam (photo courtesy Nina Finley)
Emptied Lake Bed Behind the Elwha Dam (photo courtesy Nina Finley)
Salmon Carcasses are an Important Part of the Food Chain for Eagles and Other Wildlife (photo courtesy Nina Finley)
A Pair of Bald Eagles Along the Elwha River (photo courtesy Nina Finley)
 Rather than rehash what has already been said in the Times article, I'll use this opportunity to discuss the "renewable energy trumps local ecosystem protection" argument used to defend environmentally destructive energy projects: expansion of agriculture for biofuels, new hydroelectric dams, solar projects like Ivanpah that not only usurped desert tortoise habitat but also incinerates birds, and wind farms placed in sensitive bird or bat habitat.

The following comment found under a Sierra Club article about some of the 72 dam removals that occurred in 2014: