President Biden’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is asking the public to comment “on Columbia River salmon and other native fish restoration.” This is your opportunity to tell President Biden that you want a comprehensive plan that:
• Restores abundant, harvestable salmon and steelhead populations across the Northwest
• Restores a free-flowing lower Snake River by removing the four aging, costly dams
• Supports healthy, thriving populations of Southern Resident orcas
• Upholds treaty responsibility and commitments to Tribal Nations
• Invests in a sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future
• Acts with the urgency needed to stop salmon extinction
Please take advantage of this critical opportunity to speak up for action now! We must act quickly and decisively, before Northwest salmon, steelhead, and Southern Resident orcas are lost forever.
Submit a comment before the official comment period ends on July 3rd; earlier is better.
Click the 'Take Action' button below to submit a comment. Not sure what to say? Use the suggested messaging and comment template at the end of this page as a starting place.
Questions? If you have questions about submitting a public comment – please contact Marc Sullivan, Western Washington Coordinator, at - firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some specific suggestions for messages the Biden Administration needs to hear:
- Breaching the four lower Snake River dams must be a part of a comprehensive solution to bring salmon, and orca who depend on them, back to abundance.
- A comprehensive plan must include salmon reintroduction and recovery across the Upper Columbia River region.
- The science is clear. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in its 2022 report “Rebuilding Interior Columbia Basin Salmon and Steelhead,” deemed breaching the lower Snake River dams “essential” and a “centerpiece action” in a Columbia Basin-wide recovery strategy.
- Senator Murray and Governor Inslee's "Lower Snake River Dams: Benefit Replacement Report" showed the way forward, demonstrating we can responsibly replace the services the dams provide and we must do so in order to breach the dams in a timeframe needed by salmon and orca.
- Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature followed through on the recommendations by including funding in the 2023-25 state budget to move forward on planning to replace the transportation, energy, and irrigation services the lower Snake River dams provide.
- The Biden administration must now build on this solid foundation and urgently develop a comprehensive Columbia Basin salmon recovery plan, including producing a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as an essential next step in this process.
- We must honor our commitments to Tribal Nations to protect and restore abundant salmon.
You can use this template as a foundation for your own original writing:
Thank you for the opportunity to submit a comment on the state of Columbia River salmon and other native fish. The science is clear: climate change, compounded by the impacts of the dams, is accelerating the risk of extinction by raising river temperatures well above lethal levels, killing endangered salmon and steelhead and leaving orcas without food.
The Biden administration must build off of the strong foundation laid by Senator Patty Murray (WA-D), Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Representative Mike Simpson (ID-R) and others. We urgently call for a comprehensive plan and process for Columbia Basin salmon recovery that:
- Acknowledges the urgent need to recover abundant and healthy salmon populations as stated by the Columbia Basin Partnership and NOAA’s Rebuilding Report and commits to an expedited timeline.
- Clearly outlines a path that can lead to breaching the lower Snake River dams, provide fish passage into blocked areas, reintroduce salmon in the Upper Columbia River, and fund habitat restoration work throughout the Columbia River Basin.
- Commits to immediate actions to replace the services the dams currently provide with salmon-friendly options (energy, transportation, irrigation).
- Commits to producing by Fall 2024 a supplemental EIS, BiOp and record of decision to meet the Biden Administration’s commitments and restore healthy, abundant salmon.
- Upholds the federal government’s legally-binding commitments to Northwest Tribal Nations and honors the promises made to them in treaties, trusts, and other responsibilities.
We must act quickly and decisively, before Northwest salmon and steelhead are lost forever.