Today we started filming our second video for the Clallam County Dept. of Community Development on the lower Dungeness River.
We met Matt Heins of the Dungeness Farms off Three Crabs Road and he gave us a lift in the farm’s ‘Mule’ along the dike to the mouth of the Dungeness River where Clallam County biologist, Cathy Lear and myself began documenting the estuary area and mouth of the river with Spirit Two, our DJI Phantom 3 UAV. We only had a short window of opportunity between rain squalls that were coming through the area. At that moment it was broken clouds and a bit of sun.
This would be part two of a three part aerial survey of the dike that was built by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1960’s to control the flooding of the lower Dungeness River. For many decades the dike worked as planned, but in the last couple, not so much. The gravel and silt load of the river had filled the dike up over the years and now it began to flood again.
An ambitious project by many different entities, including Clallam County, State DOT, Fisheries, S’Klallam tribe, and several others targeted the failing dike and began plans to remove a large section and relocate part of it east of Towne Road and let the river do what it has done for millennia, run free to deposit its gravel and silt in a broader area near the mouth of the river.
Spirit Vision Films is documenting the pre-construction phase of this project with the help of Clallam County’s DCD and their biologist, Cathy Lear.
Today we were able to film most of the river from the mouth to nearly the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse Bridge. The weather finally caught up with us and we had to find our way back to our cars in a pretty good downpour. Spirit Two isn’t waterproof, although it flew well in a light rain. No sense in pushing it though. We’ll film the last stretch when the weather clears!
Below are some shots of our trip today. Cathy was my photographer today, along with some frame captures of some of Spirit Two’s missions. Enjoy!