Almost 4 years ago myself and a few friends drove 120 miles north of the Bay Area to protest the massive diversion of water from historic salmon runs on the West coast.
At the time California was in the middle of a continuing drought, and the best minds out there were locked in an epic battle about water rights. The agricultural community demanded that water be released to them to save crops. The eco community knew that dropping water levels would raise the water temps for spawning salmon, thus cutting off oxygen, and allowing parasites to run rampant decimating the runs.
Sadly, the eco community lost this battle and as we drove up to the Trinity and Eel rivers we could smell the dying, dead and rotting salmon that lined the banks from miles away. These last great runs of spawners were absolutely decimated that summer, never having had a chance to pass the "biological torch" on to the next generation.
Today, due to short sighted politicians and poor planning we are looking at a near total failure of the salmon runs in both California and Oregon. The reasons for this failure range from ocean up wellings to water diversions and habitat loss. On look at those rivers a few years ago and we knew this was the beginning of the end. If you cut a gene pool and population down by 40-60%- you open that population up to all manner of natural disasters that they cannot recover from.
This was preventable, and no one knows when these salmon will come back...if ever.
There's no protest email to sign, or quick action to take to save the salmon this time. The damage is done, and by the looks of things it is on an ecological scale that will forever change "water politics" on the West coast.
The Feds are holding hearings-now the crises is real-and you can comment if you like here.
Patric Douglas CEO