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Astonishing time-lapse video reveals dramatic impact of dam removal project: ‘That’s just absolutely amazing’

“This project is critical to improving the health and vitality of our waterways as well as native plants and wildlife in the region.”

"This project is critical to improving the health and vitality of our waterways as well as native plants and wildlife in the region."

Photo Credit: @chronolog.io / Instagram

A time-lapse video posted to Instagram shows that great things can happen when you remove a dam to restore a river.

The video, posted by an account called Chronolog (@chronolog.io) shows the progress of a Bonnie Park Restoration Project in Strongsville, Ohio (20 miles south of Cleveland) in three years. 

The project was undertaken by Cleveland Metroparks with the help of a $1.88 million grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the largest such grant ever received by the organization. Workers removed a dam that was built in the river to power a mill that stood until the 1930s. However, since the mill fell into disuse, the dam backed up the water, prevented fish from swimming upstream, and stunted the natural environment.

Once the dam was removed, as you can see in the time-lapse, the area grew much more lush and green in relatively short order.

“This project is critical to improving the health and vitality of our waterways as well as native plants and wildlife in the region,” one city official told Cleveland.com.

All of the photos in the time-lapse, the video says, were taken by parkgoers. One commenter explained how they all look so uniform and fit so neatly together, writing, “There is a pole with a phone platform in this location where you put your phone on the platform, take a photo, then email it according to the instructions included on the pole. Anyone who visits the location and add their photo to the chronolog. It’s super neat!”

Other commenters were delighted by the video.

“This is incredible footage! Best thing I’ve seen in instagram in ages!” wrote one.

“I love when nature is allowed to do [its] own thing,” wrote another.

“[T]hat’s just absolutely amazing,” commented a third. 

Across the country, dams that have negatively impacted local wildlife are coming down. Another recent dam removal in California will hopefully help to restore the area’s dwindling salmon population. 

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