Salmon have returned to a Washington river after the removal of two century-old dams, and a stunning new map has documented this fresh chapter for the Elwha.

The United States has approximately 14,000 dams, many of which our outdated. These old industrial structures create more environmental harm than economic good, and a groundswell of support is now gaining momentum to have some of these removed.

One of the first and most successful cases of a dam removal in the US occurred along the Elwha River, which flows northwards through Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

The Esri Story Maps team recognised the potential for the impacts of this project to be presented geographically, and took the opportunity to share the positive results which have come from the removal of the dams using the latest story map cascade app.

This map is a complete game-changer. 3D imagery and interactive layering allow you to easily understand which salmon species returned where, and why they returned, while the striking imagery peppered throughout makes the content feel like a modern online feature article – with all the bells and whistles.

The capabilities of the app turn what could have been a standard map into an immersive experience – one which takes users on a legitimate journey along the now flowing river.

Explore this interactive map and scroll through the story to see how the Elwha ecosystem has rebounded since the removal of the dams.

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