Re: “Pacific Northwest heat wave sets up ‘grim’ migration for salmon on Columbia, Snake rivers” [June 29, Environment]:
I couldn’t imagine being a fish during the recent heat wave, practically boiling in waters warmed by 100-plus degree heat. Hot weather is particularly dangerous for the already threatened salmon populations who make their home in the Snake River and its tributaries, which have long been blocked by dams.
We’re facing an extinction crisis in the Pacific Northwest, one that, tragically, extends beyond salmon to one rung up in the food chain: southern resident orcas. We need to act swiftly and boldly to save our salmon and our orcas. The proposal by Idaho’s U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson to breach the dams to restore salmon populations is the right thing to do according to everyone from scientists to Nez Perce elders whose community has lived and relied on the Snake River for generations.
U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray should be vocal in their support of bold solutions like Snake River dam removal to save these critical species and give them a fighting chance amid an unfamiliar and rapidly changing climate. They won’t survive many more summers like this.
Lillie Wright, Seattle, organizer with Environment Washington