Miles Lost Miles Gained

Art and science combine to virtually restore lost rivers through digital maps, sculpture and intersecting tales of ecosystem destruction and restoration.

  • RSS

News Archive

Lower Elwha Tribal Member observing ceremonial removal of gunnite cap from Elwha dam, September 17, 2011.
Lower Elwha Tribal Member observing ceremonial removal of gunnite cap from Elwha dam, September 17, 2011.

Photo: ML/MG

February 2012 – showing progress on removal of Elwha dam. As of 17 April 2012, nearly all of the dam has been removed, which is much faster than anticipated.
February 2012 – showing progress on removal of Elwha dam. As of 17 April 2012, nearly all of the dam has been removed, which is much faster than anticipated.

Photo: National Parks Service

Plausible ranges of salmonid species of the Elwha after removal of the dams. Counting side channels, the estimated increase in spawning habitat exceeds 100 miles. The Elwha once saw runs of some of the largest Chinook salmon ever recorded.
Plausible ranges of salmonid species of the Elwha after removal of the dams. Counting side channels, the estimated increase in spawning habitat exceeds 100 miles. The Elwha once saw runs of some of the largest Chinook salmon ever recorded.

Source: National Parks Service

Blog (News, Events, and Other Fun Stuff)

Glines Is Gone (Almost)!

comments (0)
under Elwha River
After a lengthy delay, Barnard Construction resumed blasting out the last 50 ft chunk of Glines Canyon dam. See the attached photo-mosaic showing progress to date. Its humbling and inspiring to see a difficult and controversial public works project come to fruition despite the utter insanity that has taken root amidst our less endowed politicians and otherwise paralyzed our ability to move the Nation forward. It’s also impressive to see how carefully the last bit of dam was blasted back into the reservoir instead of into the river (a condition of the National Park Service).
read full post

Shiftwood Sculpture - inspired by the Elwha

comments (0)
under Art
Seattle artist Sky Darwin's journal of his recent adventures while pursing his "Sites Pacific" ephemeral driftwood sculpture art making project by sail boat around coastal WA is an inspiring read. Honest glimpse into the challenges artists face when they take on a major project and what drives them to keep going. Sky's work is also inspired by the historic Elwha River restoration. Check out his flickr feed and blog and seattle times coverage. Good stuff, wish him well, and look for his upcoming store fronts seattle exhibition.
read full post

Family friendly habitat restoration on the Elwha River – an overlooked (but well received) side effect of the dam removals

comments (0)
under Elwha River

Upon visiting the Elwha River valley this summer to get some dam rubble (for upcoming ML/MG geocaches!) with family and friends we took the opportunity to see what was happening along the river from the kids’ perspective. The kids were impressed! We visited former Lake Aldwell (for a mud bath), Altair Campground, for hotdogs, and the new beach at the mouth to skinny dip atop one of the newest and finest (and certainly most interesting) sand beaches on the Washington Coast.

read full post

Go! Check out Seattle’s beloved purveyor of poetically correct public art, Buster Simpson, at the Frye Art Museum

comments (0)
under Art

This is a terrific retrospective. I think Buster is on one of Seattle’s true gems. He is as prolific and ingenious an artist as any I know. His use of art and humor to reveal hidden relationships between people and the land and water and plants and animals and buildings is both inspiring and humbling. Just look at him peering down into this catch basin he...

read full post

The art of river restoration – Andy Ritchie’s Elwha Restoration Photostream

comments (0)
under Elwha River
Andy, a hydrologist for the USGS, is one of the most privileged people in the world right now. He gets to keep track of the Elwha River as its awe-inspiring transformation takes place...
read full post

Conniving farmers, dynamite, and floods: the story of how the Stuck River was lost.

comments (0)

 In my research I have found snippets of the story of how the Stuck River became the White River, and how the White River became the Green River but hadn’t seen the story authoritatively told until I came across this compilation of historical news clippings by the White River History Museum. Fascinating stuff. It takes decades to realize how pivotal some event...

read full post

4-Culture grant received to complete web map of "lost rivers" of King County

comments (0)
under About ML/MG

Exciting news folks - look for big changes to the ML/MG website and interactive map (my favorite website feature), including mobile optimization in the coming months. I am happy to be partnering with Amir Sheik and Dr. Brian Collins of the UW Puget Sound River History Project, and Schildbach Design to complete historical river maps (i.e. the "lost" rivers) of King County. Nice write-up on the 4-Culture website as well.

read full post

Reception & Opening for River Mile 1

comments (0)
under Public Events

On Monday 4-29-13 at noon Zac will join renowned artist Buster Simpson for a lunchtime chat about their permanent works at the new Army Corps headquarters building on the east bank of the Duwamish River in Seattle. Simpson's piece Aerie, commissioned by the GSA, morphs as the viewer passes by, reflecting the Corps changing missions from national defense to protection of the environment.

read full post

First ML/MG sculpture nearing completion

comments (0)
under Mile Markers

A small and dedicated team of volunteers from the Seattle District of the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, led by ML/MG founder and creative director Zac Corum, has been busy since early October building the first historic mile marker of the pre-industrial Duwamish River. The sculptural river mile marker, which is composed of rubble from the Elwha dam, is spanned by a steel interpretive sign.

read full post

Elwha Inspired Artists Trip a Success

comments (0)
under Elwha River

MLMG met up with painters Nathan DiPietro (Seattle) and Peter Malarkey (Seattle/Port Angeles), and videographer Elina Juopperi (Finland/France) for a backstage visit to both dam sites, the dam rubble disposal site, the recently revealed river bed under former Lake Aldwell, and the rapidly changing mouth of the river. Peter hosted us at his sublime residence/studio that overlooks the west side of the valley.

read full post

Who is Behind ML/MG?

comments (0)
under About ML/MG

Who is behind MLMG? Zac Corum. Miles Lost / Miles Gained (MLMG) is a public art project by the Seattle based civil engineer and artist Zachary Corum that celebrates the restoration of the Elwha River through installation of large scale historic river mile markers along the lost rivers of Puget Sound. The artist has worked for 15 years as a civil engineer on ecosystem restoration projects throughout the Pacific Northwest and brings a unique understanding of the physical processes and human motivations responsible for the physical changes to river valleys to his work.

read full post

News Archive

Lower Elwha Tribal Member observing ceremonial removal of gunnite cap from Elwha dam, September 17, 2011.
Lower Elwha Tribal Member observing ceremonial removal of gunnite cap from Elwha dam, September 17, 2011.

Photo: ML/MG

February 2012 – showing progress on removal of Elwha dam. As of 17 April 2012, nearly all of the dam has been removed, which is much faster than anticipated.
February 2012 – showing progress on removal of Elwha dam. As of 17 April 2012, nearly all of the dam has been removed, which is much faster than anticipated.

Photo: National Parks Service

Plausible ranges of salmonid species of the Elwha after removal of the dams. Counting side channels, the estimated increase in spawning habitat exceeds 100 miles. The Elwha once saw runs of some of the largest Chinook salmon ever recorded.
Plausible ranges of salmonid species of the Elwha after removal of the dams. Counting side channels, the estimated increase in spawning habitat exceeds 100 miles. The Elwha once saw runs of some of the largest Chinook salmon ever recorded.

Source: National Parks Service