Friday, May 27, 2022

Play

High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.

Play

Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.

Play

High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Advocates: Good Ocean Conditions Not Enough to Recover Salmon

Play

Monday, January 24, 2022   

Recent data on ocean conditions could be good news for struggling salmon in the Northwest. But advocates for the species warn this isn't enough to stop their alarming slide.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expecting ocean waters to remain cold and more food abundant for the fish along the West Coast. However Miles Johnson, senior attorney with Columbia Riverkeeper, noted this doesn't necessarily mean better conditions for a crucial part of their lives - in the rivers where salmon spawn.

"It's good to be in a good cycle," said Johnson. "But what this is is an opportunity to fix the problems that we have in the freshwater and jumpstart some kind of recovery. It's not going to get us out of the hole that we're in."

Climate change is another factor. A recent study from Columbia University's Earth Institute shows land temperatures are increasing 2.5 times faster than ocean temperatures, meaning wildlife in land and river systems are more vulnerable to the warming climate.

Johnson said the biggest impediments for endangered salmon species are the four dams on the lower Snake River. He said the dams turn the river into dangerously hot lakes for the migrating fish, and the quickest and most effective way to remedy this is by breaching them.

"This is not anything that we've arrived at quickly or rashly," said Johnson. "This is the conclusion that most of the scientific community has come to after trying basically everything else. It's just clear that Snake River fish aren't going to recover with those four dams in place."

Opponents of dam removal say they provide irrigation, renewable energy and transportation to the region.

Johnson said the ocean will go through cycles of good and bad years for salmon and that we should act to save them from extinction while conditions are favorable.

"And they will recover if we give them half a chance," said Johnson. "We've seen it over and over again in different contexts."



Disclosure: Columbia Riverkeeper contributes to our fund for reporting on Endangered Species & Wildlife, Environment, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …


Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …


Aside from health risks, environmental officials say harmful algae blooms pose a threat to Iowa's water recreation industry. When beaches and other access points are temporarily shut down, it discourages plans for boating or swimming. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Gas prices are higher on average in western Montana than they are in eastern Montana. (Vinícius Bacarin/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …

Social Issues

Advocates are contending the New York State Senate is not doing enough to lower the price of prescription drugs. Recently, lawmakers dropped bills …

 

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