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fish_chinook-salmon_gregvandeleest-GettyImages_600x300.jpg

Snake River salmon are at high risk of extinction according to NOAA's most recent report. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

K20 Spock Southern Resident Orca

How about this recent photo of nursing mom Southern Resident K20 showing signs of malnutrition.
If she succumbs, her 3 month old calf will surely perish as well.

 

One-Click Comments ... CRITICALLY URGENT NOW

Gathering public support is urgent to encourage leaders to breach lower Snake Dams

beginning this December 2022.  Pro-dam interests are spending millions to undermine  recent positive moves by the Biden Administration, NOAA, Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife, Governor Inslee & Senator Murray. 

Take Action

As always, feel free to choose additional recipients to receive your comments by making phone calls and / or sending messages to the following elected leaders and government officials.  The more public feedback and encouragement they receive, the more likely it is that they will take action.  For suggestions on what to say and talking points, see further down this page.

Murray/Inslee Team

Lower Snake River Dams

The study group accepts PUBLIC COMMENTS

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President Joe Biden

The White House

202-456-1111

Tu-We-Th, 11-3 EST

@WhiteHouse

@WhiteHouse

@whitehouse

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1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA

Michael Connor

Asstistant Secty. of the Army for Civil Works

'Send a Message' Recipient = Civil Works

202-761-1878

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Headquarters U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 441 G Street NW Washington, DC 20314-1000

Maria Cantwell

US Senator, Washington

206-220-6400

202-224-3441

@mariacantwell

@senatorcantwell

@senatormariacantwell

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511 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

Kate Brown

Governor, Oregon

503-378-4582

@oregongovernor

@OregonGovBrown

@oregongovbrown

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Office of the Governor 900 Court Street NE, 254 Salem, OR 97301-4047

Peter DeFazio

US Representative, Oregon

541-465-6732

202-225-6416

@PeterDeFazioOregon

@RepPeterDeFazio

@defazio4oregon

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2134 Rayburn Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

Brenda Mallory

Council on Environmental Quality, CEQ Chair

@WHCEQ

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Send a Message is same as White House 730 Jackson Place NW Washington, D.C. 20503

Jennifer Granholm

Secretary, Department of Energy

202-586-5000 7a-7p Eastern

@SecGranholm

@SecGranholm

@secgranholm

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U.S. Dept of Energy 1000 Independence Ave., SW, Washington DC 20585

Jay Inslee

Governor, Washington

360-902-4111

@WaStateGov

@WaStateGov

@govinslee

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PO Box 40002 Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Pramila Jayapal

US Representative, Washington,
7th District

206-674-0040

202-225-3106

@pramila.jayapal

@RepJayapal

@repjayapal

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2346 Rayburn House Office Building Washington. DC 20515

Jeff Merkley

US Senator, Oregon

503-200-5518

@jeffmerkley

@SenJeffMerkley

@senjeffmerkley

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PO Box 14172, Portland OR 97293

Earl Blumenauer

US Representative, Oregon, 3rd District

202-225-4811

503-231-2300

@blumenauer

@repblumenauer

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Washington, DC 20515

Deb Haaland

Secretary, Department of Interior

202-208-3100 #3

@SecDebHaaland

@secdebhaaland

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Department of the Interior 1849 C Street, N.W. Washington DC 20240

Gina Raimondo

Secretary of Commerce

NO "Send a Message" form

202-482-2000

Secretary Gina Raimondo

@SecRaimondo

@SecRaimondo

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1401 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230, USA

Patty Murray

US Senator, Washington

206-553-5545

@pattymurray

@pattymurray

@Senpattymurray

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2988 Jackson Federal Building, 915 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, USA

Mike Simpson

US Representative, Idaho

208-334-1953

202-225-5531

@RepMikeSimpson

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2084 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515

Ron Wyden

US Senator, Oregon

503-326-7525

202-224-5244

@wyden

@RonWyden

@ronwyden

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911 NE 11th Ave., Suite 630 Portland, OR, 97232

John Hairston

CEO, Bonneville Power Administration

800-622-4519

503-230-3000

@bonnevillepower

@bonnevillepower

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Bonneville Power Administration P.O. Box 3621 Portland, OR 97208-3621

Talking Points

 

For those interested in writing their own message, here are some important facts included in NOAA’s July 2022 draft report:

  • Salmon stocks originating above Bonneville Dam are critically important to Columbia River basin tribes, as well as to the economy and overall ecological health of the region. (P. 1.)

  • Despite their undisputed value the salmon have been harmed by human activity, in particular the dams and reservoirs that form the Columbia/Snake River hydrosystem. (Pp. 1-2.)

  • Achieving the fish-related goals in the report would provide the highest certainty for meeting multiple objectives that address tribal inequities, secure a pathway to harvestable abundance levels, and meet ESA needs in the face of climate change. (P. 2.)

  • The short term outlook for most interior Columbia Basin stocks is grim—the fish are not replacing themselves which makes the extinction risk high. (P. 6.)

  • Only rapid, concerted, system-wide actions keyed to existing strongholds of stock potential will result in lasting biological benefits to the fish. (P. 6.)

  • Climate change amplifies the extinction risk to Snake River salmon and steelhead. (P. 8.)

  • “Unsurprisingly, given the broad weight of evidence, hydrosystem-related limiting factors [i.e., dams] have the largest impacts on survival for the most interior (furthest upstream) stocks, including all four extant Snake River basin stocks.” (P. 10.)

  • Recovering wild Snake River salmon will require restoring the lower Snake River. (P. 12.)

  • For Snake River stocks, it is essential that the lower Snake River be restored via dam breaching to stop the fish stock populations from declining from each generation to the next. (P. 12.)

  • “Breaching is specifically recommended for the four lower Snake River dams.” (P. 12 fn 10.)

  • Restoration of the lower Snake River is an urgent action that will provide tangible benefits shortly after implementation and will provide a significant boost for a broad range of priority populations. (P. 16.)

  • NOAA is confident that the suite of actions that includes breaching the lower Snake River dams provides the highest and only reasonable certainty of achieving long term abundance goals. (P.18.)

  • Salmon recovery depends on large scale actions that include lower Snake River dam breaching, an action that must begin immediately to avoid continued salmon declines. (P. 18.)

  • The science robustly supports dam breaching, “and overwhelmingly supports acting, and acting now.” (P. 18.)

  • “To minimize additional generational declines and accomplish the broad-sense recovery goals of the Columbia Basin Partnership requires a suite of aggressive, dramatic, region-wide actions implemented with an ambitious, but necessary immediacy.” (P. 18.)

  • “Inaction will result in the catastrophic loss of the majority of Columbia River basin salmon and steelhead stocks.” (P. 18.)

  • “Some uncertainty surrounding the exact magnitude of beneficial response of acting does not warrant inaction.”  (P. 18.)

  • “While most potential restoration actions simply improve impacted habitats, breaching the lower Snake River mainstem dams would be transformative.” It would eliminate the reservoirs, connect the floodplains, and return the river channels to their natural flows and structure. (P. 19.)

  • Adult and juvenile salmon are the natural prey base for marine mammals—in particular, for the imperiled Southern Resident killer whales. (P. 20.)

 

For those who want an even deeper dive into the issues, additional facts:

  • Snake River dam energy is neither cheap, nor carbon-free, nor clean.

  • Wild salmon runs in the Snake/Columbia Basin that are required to pass 5 dams or less are surviving. Snake River wild salmon and steelhead runs that are required to pass 8 dams are heading to extinction.

  • Lower Snake River hydropower is not affordable when compared to new renewable energy. Wind and solar averages about $22/MWh, while BPA sells its contract customers energy for more than $35/MWh.

  • The lower Snake River dams produce a maximum of 4-5% of the electricity in the Pacific Northwest. Removing this 4-5% of energy will not destabilize the Northwest’s power grid.

  • The 2021 Power Plan identifies possible sources of energy equivalent to the average annual output of more than 50 lower Snake River dams. If less than 10 percent of these potential resources were tapped, the power saved and/or produced would replace the average power output of all four lower Snake River dams.

  • The lower Snake River dams produce most of their power during the Spring snow melt when energy is least needed. Most of this power is sold for far below the cost of producing the power. Pacific Northwest electricity consumers foot the bill.

  • The lower Snake River dams produce the least energy when it is most needed, due to low river flows in both winter and summer. As the climate continues to warm, summer flows will be even lower.

  • If new energy is required to replace that produced by the dams, the Bonneville Power Administration can issue Requests for Proposals for new renewable energy and have private industry develop the projects at their expense.

  • The risk of power outages in the Pacific Northwest is due largely to transmission capabilities, not energy production.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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