How Dams Affect Orcas – Don’t Miss The Last Article Tomorrow (12/27/09)!

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Below is a general review of Howard Garrett’s previous articles (which can be found on the link bar to the right), taken directly from what he wrote, along with a short bio on Howard. Please visit Orca Network to learn more.

“The Snake River is the Columbia’s largest tributary. Its watershed drains nearly 110,000 square miles of wilderness, including the best and highest chinook salmon spawning habitat in the lower 48 states. As many as six million spawning chinook used to return to the Snake each year. And chinook, as explained in How Many Fish Do The Orcas Need, are the fish upon which Southern Resident orcas depend.”

“Most scientists agree that removal of the four lower Snake River dams would result in a big rebound of wild salmon that spawn there, along with a full range of wildlife and Puget Sound’s resident J, K and L orca whale pods.”

“But a “Biological Opinion” (BiOp), written by the Bush administration, would allow dam operation until 2018 despite the dam’s devastating effects on endangered salmon. Along with salmon disaster, the BiOp will lead to likely extinction of endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales, which depend on some of these same salmon for their survival.”

“14 leading researchers wrote NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco pointing out shortcomings in the BiOp and seeking reconsideration. Their letter concluded, “The recovery of Southern Resident Killer Whales depends on abundant food, which will be difficult, if not impossible, to provide without restoring productivity from the Columbia Basin.”

“This BiOp is mostly about securing hydropower, and not salmon, in the Columbia/Snake watershed. It really is more concerned with electricity than anything else.”

“But we don’t need the Snake River dams to produce it. The dams kill salmon, which in turn depletes whole habitats of vital sustenance, including orca habitat.”

“If we the citizens lobby governments at all levels to mandate efficiency, support renewable energy and promote widespread installation of photovoltaic panels, Snake River salmon will not have to be sacrificed to generate electricity, and Southern Resident orcas may have enough to eat for generations to come.”

Orca Network Founder Howard Garrett

Howard Garrett began field studies of Southern Resident orcas in 1981 with the Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island. With his wife, Susan Berta, he is co-founder of Orca Network, based on Whidbey Island WA. Garrett is author of Orcas In Our Midst and a frequent speaker and writer about orca natural history and habitat protection.

In 2001 Howard and Susan were awarded “Puget Sound Hero” awards by People for Puget Sound, in recognition of their efforts in environmental education and orca awareness. Feature stories on Howard and Susan’s whale sighting network and the Free Lolita campaign have appeared in the Everett Herald, South Whidbey Record, and the Whidbey News Times, and the Everett Herald featured Howard and Susan in their January 1, 2002 issue’s front page story on “People to Watch in 2002”. In January, 2006, Howard and Susan were featured as “Hometown Heros” in the South Whidbey Record.

Tomorrow: If Hydropower Wins, Then Salmon And Orcas Lose”

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Leave a Reply