Actor Tom Skerritt to celebrate Elwha River restoration

This blog post is part of a series on restoring rivers and dam removal that we are sharing as we are nearing one of the greatest river restoration projects with the removal of the Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River, September 17. Learn more about that project at

Actor and American Rivers board member Tom Skerritt is passionate about healthy, free-flowing rivers. He is helping American Rivers celebrate the historic dam removal and river restoration project on Washington’s Elwha River.

Tom will join Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and other dignitaries at the official dam removal ceremony at Elwha Dam on September 17.

Tom starred in Robert Redford’s Oscar-winning film A River Runs Through It – a role that he says reminded him of the importance of nature in our lives. The role was a perfect fit for Tom, an avid fly fisherman. 

We asked Tom what rivers mean to him, and why fly-fishing is one of his favorite pastimes.

He told us that it’s “for the peace it gives me in feeling the rush of the river’s current on my legs, in the mystery of flushing out a big rainbow from that dark spot over near that big rock in the middle of the flow and secretly hoping that if I hook him, he’ll beat me and win.”

Tom shares our excitement about the restoration of a free-flowing Elwha River. Removing the two outdated dams on the Elwha will boost salmon runs from 3,000 to 300,000 a year, and will revive the entire ecosystem from mountains to sea.

Learn more about the Elwha and find out why it’s the world’s biggest dam removal effort.

Do you have a question for Tom? Share your questions in the comments section and we will continue to provide updates as this river restoration effort on the Elwha unfolds!