Elwa River dam removal

Courtesy Snohomish County PUD

Big dams that block rivers and salmon runs are out of vogue. But new legislation could clear the way for more small ones.

The removal of Washington’s Elwha dam — the largest dam removal in U.S. history — marked the end of an era in which big dams were embraced.

Crews have blasted a hole in a nearly century-old hydropower dam in Washington's south Cascades today, marking another step in efforts to restore habitat for threatened and endangered fish in the Pacific Northwest.

National Park Service

Six webcams will snap pictures throughout the day during the three-year removal process the Elwha River dams.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

PORT ANGELES, Wash. – Seattle's Kingdome collapsed with a bang. Explosive demolition experts also brought down the cooling tower at the former Trojan nuclear plant. But if you're hoping for the same excitement from the upcoming destruction of two big hydropower dams on Washington's Elwha River, you'll be disappointed.

The history-making dam removal that begins in September will happen slowly and methodically.