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Commentaries and editorials

Remove the Lower Snake River Dams

by Christian White
Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, June 5, 2019

Adult counts of wild Chinook and Steelhead returning to Idaho (source: Idaho Fish & Game) The Southern Resident orcas in Puget Sound are critically endangered due to malnutrition. The Chinook Salmon populations, which make up around 80% of their diet, have depleted by 90% since the Lower Snake River dams were installed. These dams are blocking 140 miles that is historically Chinook Salmon spawning ground.

Growing up on Vashon, I was able to see our local orcas from the ferry, beach, and on many pieces of Vashon merchandise. These animals are a central piece of local culture and tradition, so allowing them to die off from human-caused actions is inhuman and morally unjust.

Now is a critical decision point for us -- we can hold Senators Cantwell and Murray accountable to remove the four Lower Snake River dams. Not acting now will make us complicit in the extinction of these animals and continue the deterioration of global biodiversity.

Now is the point where we decide to save these animals and undo the damage that was done. Now it is not yet too late to act. Now we can save the orcas.

Christian White
Remove the Lower Snake River Dams
Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, June 5, 2019

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