VANCOUVER, Wash. — Scientists working to restore the Columbia River estuary say it’s time to look beyond salmon recovery to a broader list of species and environmental issues.
Debrah Marriott is the executive director of the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership. Her group convened a summit where scientists discussed recent findings.
Marriott says federal dam operators are required to spend millions on salmon recovery every year. That money helps reduce the impact of dams on 13 species of threatened and endangered fish. But it won’t help clean up toxic water pollution that scientists are finding in the Columbia.
“There are emerging contaminants. They’re the contaminants in flame retardants and pharmaceuticals that are disrupting the hormone balance in species,” Marriott said. “I think the issue is a lack of resources with so much emphasis on salmon recovery and so much of the effort on habitat restoration for salmon. We just need to have a broader discussion and more resources to address the contaminants.”
She says she hopes Congress will pass a bill called the Columbia River Restoration Act. It would direct up to $40 million toward cleaning up water pollution in the Columbia.
(This was first reported for OPB News.)
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