Monday, July 4, 2022

Play

July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.

Play

The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

WA Dam Removal Brings Hope for NW Fish, Orcas

Play

Thursday, June 18, 2020   

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Construction crews have begun work to remove the Middle Fork Nooksack Dam near Bellingham, restoring a crucial river for salmon.

The project is decades in the making and is critical as fish species in the Northwest dwindle.

Steven Day, project engineer for the City of Bellingham Public Works Department, says it opens up 16 miles of spawning habitat for salmon, steelhead and bull trout.

"The project itself has been listed as the single most effective fish passage project in the Nooksack watershed for a period of over 15 years," he points out.

Restoring the river is important for the endangered Southern Resident orcas of Puget Sound, which have declined in numbers as salmon populations have dropped.

Project partners include the Nooksack Indian Tribe, Lummi Nation, the organization American Rivers and the state of Washington.

Dam removal has required creative thinking.

Over the past 50 years, the dam has been a vital part of Bellingham's water supply. But Day and the city have come up with a solution. He says the new system will be installed slightly upstream from the old dam and is a win-win for the city.

"It will not create a waterfall or other step within the river that creates a passage issue and will still provide for municipal water supply to the citizens of Bellingham," he explains.

American Rivers joined the project in 2017, getting the ball rolling on removal with funding from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

April McEwen, river restoration project manager for American Rivers, says she hopes this can inspire other projects in the region.

"That's just a tremendous story of hope and also what we can do with our future," she states. "We can meet our own future needs better without creating so much impact on the life support systems that we all depend on."

The dam is scheduled for demolition in July.

The Middle Fork Nooksack River is expected to flow freely in September for the first time in 50 years.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.


get more stories like this via email

The United States celebrates Independence Day while Congress investigates the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Bob/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This July 4th marks nearly 250 years since the United States declared its independence, setting the country on a path to establishing its democracy…


Social Issues

It's July 4th, a celebration of the United States' independence. It's also an opportunity to take a look at the state of the country's democracy…

Social Issues

July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States' democracy - and some say it's time to recommit to defending that democracy. In the wake of …


While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021