"FREE THE SNAKE!"
This issue of Wild Salmon & Steelhead News reviews two big events that SOS recently organized in partnership with some of our close coalition and business partners. Below you’ll find a summary of both events followed by a series of links to articles, videos, actions, and further information.
FREE THE SNAKE FLOTILLA AND RALLY: First, on Saturday October 3, SOS worked with the Friends of the Clearwater, Patagonia, Mountain Gear, the Nez Perce Tribe, Idaho Rivers United, orca advocates and others to organize a first-of –its-kind rally on the banks of the lower Snake River near Pullman in eastern Washington State. The Free the Snake Flotilla attracted more than 350 people from across the Northwest. We brought our boats and paddled three miles down the “Snake Lake” to within spitting distance of Lower Granite Dam. Once we all assembled there, we held a rally on the water – cheering and chanting for the removal of four deadbeat dams and the restoration of one of America’s great salmon river systems.
A number of reporters joined us at this remote spot to interview attendees and find out more about the renewed and growing calls to restore the lower Snake River. We were also joined by a spokesperson for the Army Corps of Engineers who tried to argue that these four dams provide great value for the American people. It is a tired narrative that people just aren’t buying anymore.
Below are a number of links to stories and video from this very fun, inspiring and energizing day. In case you missed it this year, the day was so magical that we made a group decision right there on the spot to gather there again one year from now. We’ll see you there in 2016!
ENJOY THE MANY LINKS BELOW:
Patagonia’s awesome video of the Flotilla.
Patagonia Blog: The Cleanest Line - Free the Snake Flotilla Action
Here's a bunch of great photos from the Flotilla (please credit Ben Moon for Patagonia if you'd like to use them).
Canoe and Kayak Op-Ed: Paddling Against Deadbeat Dams at the Free the Snake Flotilla
Spokesman Review: Free the Snake event lures flotilla to protest dams
Hatch Magazine: Let’s Stop the Stupidity on the Snake
Salmon Blog: Mr. President – Tear down these walls
Trout Bus: I was there. Free the Snake River.
INTERTWINED FATES: THE ORCA- SALMON CONNECTION: Then, even before we had fully recovered from the amazing Free the Snake Flotilla and Rally, we helped host an event on the west side of the mountains in the Puget Sound Basin – at the Seattle Aquarium. The Orca-Salmon Alliance (a new coalition of 10 organizations, including SOS) hosted Intertwined Fates: The Orca-Salmon Nexus in the Northwest.
This event drew a sold-out crowd of more than 300 and featured as our keynote speaker the award-winning author and renowned scientist Carl Safina. Dr. Safina spoke about his excellent new book – Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel – and then joined a panel of local salmon and orca experts to discuss these two iconic and endangered Northwest species.
As part of the panel, Dr. Safina made a very strong pitch for restoring the lower Snake River by removing its four costly dams – to benefit hungry Southern Resident Killer Whales that depend upon chinook salmon for their survival, but also for the sake of other species, including, for example, imperiled sturgeon and lamprey - and Northwest ratepayers and American taxpayers who have paid billions of dollars to fund a series of illegal, ineffective, inadequate federal salmon plans in the Columbia-Snake River Basin year over the last 20+ years!
For more information on this event and the Orca-Salmon Alliance, please visit the OSA Website and visit the media links below:
Skagit Valley Herald: New alliance has big goals for salmon, orca recovery
Puget Sound Blogs: Carl Safina explores animal culture plus orca-salmon links
You can download a new OSA brochure here that highlights the relationship between Southern Resident Killer Whales and chinook salmon - and why restoring abundant salmon in the Columbia Basin in the near-term - and especially in the Snake River Basin - is critical to the survival and recovery of the SRKWs.