Billy Frank: Stop water pollution from damaging salmon runs

"Scientists have seen adult coho salmon dying within 24 hours of returning to some polluted urban streams in Western Washington. In some cases, 60 to 90 percent of the coho are dying before they can spawn. What’s killing the fish? It’s a poison soup of brake pad dust, oil, gasoline and other pollutants that are washed by rain or melting snow from yards, sidewalks, parking lots and roads right into our streams and Puget Sound.

We need to stop the pollution from getting into our waters in the first place. Prevention is a lot cheaper and more effective in the long run than trying to clean up waters once they are polluted.

Development has changed the way rainwater runs off here in Western Washington. Our watersheds were once like giant sponges, absorbing rain in the fall and winter, releasing it slow and steady in the spring and summer. As our watersheds are paved over, rainfall has nowhere to go except downhill. Fast. Winter floods are becoming more intense, causing increased damage to property and salmon habitat, while summer stream flows are becoming too low for salmon returning to spawn."

Get the Story:
Billy Frank Jr.: Polluted stormwater runoff barrier to salmon recovery and Puget Sound cleanup (The Central Kitsap Reporter 4/3)

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