Thursday, February 21, 2013

Restoring Wild Salmon in U.S.

Imagine 16 million salmon swimming and spawning in the U.S. waters of the Pacific Northwest. 

One would have to imagine that now, but it was once fact.  Now about 125,000 salmon follow their historical river paths.

Well-meaning human encroachment with the building of dams brought about the drastic reduction.  The loss of the wild salmon numbers has damaged the local economies, ecology, and over-all health of the river and ocean systems. An effort to restore wild salmon created,   "Save Our Wild Salmon (SOS) is a nationwide coalition of conservation organizations, commercial and sportsfishing associations, businesses, river groups, and taxpayer advocates working collectively to restore self-sustaining, abundant, and harvestable populations of wild salmon and steelhead to rivers, streams and oceans of the Pacific Salmon states,"  according to the SOS website.

The nonprofit's director told Blue Notes, a publication of the Blue Frontier Campaign, " “In the 1990s scientists thought the fish would be gone in 20 years, but we’ve done a lot of good for salmon since then and gotten the federal government to place an emphasis on restoring damaged estuarine and river habitats. That helps resident fish and wildlife but we don’t think that’s enough for the dam affected fish.”

"Restoring wild salmon to the Columbia/Snake is about more than just saving fish. It’s also about saving our economy. Salmon are a critical part of the northwest economy, supporting a diverse set of industries including fishing, tourism, renewable energy, and outdoor retailers bringing billions to the northwest and creating thousands of jobs," states the SOS website.

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