Return to Us: Restoring Alaska’s Eklutna River

Return to Us chronicles the historic effort spearheaded by Eklutna, Inc. and The Conservation Fund to remove the abandoned Lower Eklutna Dam and kickstart the return of diminished salmon runs to the river.  

As chronicled in the film, the abandoned lower dam that blocked salmon migration for nearly a century has been successfully removed. However, an upper diversion dam associated with the Eklutna Hydropower Project remains. This upper dam diverts all downstream flow, blocks fish migration, and hinders the use of the recently reconnected habitat. Right now, the legally requiredmitigation process that will help make up for the projects impact on fish & wildlife is underway. Currently, the ownerof the Eklutna Hydropower Project are finalizing their year 1 study plans, which will require approval by the GovernorThe findings of this study will help shape and inform the outcome of the mitigation process.

Since the removal of the dam, Southcentral Alaskans have demonstrated sweeping support for returning appropriate flows to the river for fish and allowing fish passage around the upper dam so that salmon can make a full recovery. This will benefit the Native Village of Eklutna, and all Alaskans.

A healthy, fully functioning future is possible for the Eklutna River, and it’s up to us to help make it happen.

Pledge your support for the restoration of the Eklutna River here.

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