Spirit Vision Films has been involved in documenting the lower Dungeness River the last three months. We have created three videos for the Clallam County Department of Community Development.
Working with Cathy Lear, the county’s river biologist, we have flown over 30 missions with Spirit Two, our DJI Phantom 3 UAV, surveying the 117-acre future site of the Lower Dungeness River Levee setback project just south of the Old Schoolhouse bridge on East Anderson Road.
Once the first 28 minute video was completed of the project boundaries we followed the river from the Old Schoolhouse Bridge to the river mouth and estuary. We then created another 27 minute video which was completed in June. Finally, we again flew the river from the Ward Bridge on Woodcock Road to the Old Schoolhouse bridge and compiled a third video of over three river miles to the mouth of the river in July. The last video was 58 minutes long and was the most detailed of all three.
These videos are the ‘before’ survey of the river prior to the start of the project that will move the existing levee built by the Army Corp. of Engineers back in 1964 when the second steepest river, the Dungeness River would flood the lower Dungeness Valley. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but because the 32 mile river runs downhill so quickly it carried an immense amount of gravel and silt into Dungeness Bay in a very short order. This created a serious gravel and silt load within the dike that now threatens the area with flooding as before. The 117-acre ‘floodplain’ is designed to spread that load out in times of flooding and reduce the gravel load within the river channel. At least that is the hope.
Clallam County, the WSDOT, the Washington State Dept. of Fisheries, the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe, along with the North Olympic Salmon Coalition, among others are partnering with each other to make this project a reality in the next couple of years.
Hopefully Spirit Vision Films will document the actual removal of the old levee and the construction of the new, along with the filming of the flooding that will take place with the project area. Very exciting!
Below are a few clips of the river from the Ward Bridge to the river mouth, estuary, Meadowbrook creek and slough that were taken in the last three months. It has been a great project to be part of! Enjoy!