Please submit your official public comment to the Army Corps of Engineers: ask it to stop spending public money to dredge the lower Snake River unless and until an honest economic analysis shows these four dams’ benefits outweigh their tremendous costs to the public, to salmon and steelhead, and to water quality and the river's health.
Click here to send a pre-written, editable letter. The deadline is Sept 22. The Army Corps of Engineers is once again proposing expensive dredging in the lower Snake River without justifying the costs to the public - or addressing harms to water quality or endangered wild salmon and steelhead.
In August, the Corps released its 2014 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) proposing a taxpayer-financed plan to "manage" the millions of tons of sediment piling up behind Lower Granite Dam on the lower Snake River. It is accepting public comment until Sept 22. Lower Snake River sediment is a big problem - one of many problems created by the four lower Snake dams. In just a few decades, millions of cubic yards of sediment have settled in the reservoir behind Lower Granite Dam near Lewiston (ID) and Clarkston (WA). It's created an ever-worsening flood risk for these towns and huge expense for American taxpayers.
Meanwhile, as maintenance costs rise, the value of the barge corridor created by these four dams continues to decline steeply. With shippers moving to rail and truck, container shipping on the lower Snake has declined more than 70 percent in the past decade. Barge traffic on the lower Snake today accounts for a tiny 4 percent of the total shipping on the Columbia-Snake Rivers. In an era of shrinking federal resources, we can’t afford to continue wasting millions on the lower Snake – especially when salmon- and taxpayer-friendly alternatives are available and scarce infrastructure dollars are required elsewhere - like on the far more valuable lower Columbia River waterway. Rather than address the never-ending sediment problem and the worsening flood risk it creates for riverside towns, the Corps FEIS proposes expensive, perpetual dredging and dodges the real issues: the dams’ harm to endangered salmon and their overall high costs and low benefits. The Corps’ Plan offers no sound economic justification for spending more taxpayer money on a waterway-in-decline -- and refuses to consider the most effective solution to the sediment and salmon problems -- removal of the four lower Snake River dams. In the past 15 years, the Corps has spent millions just to study and "manage” sediment. It’s time to tell the Corps to quit sending our dollars down the river for the benefit of a small group of narrow interests.
Please help us send this message to the Corps: “No more wasted taxpayer money on the lower Snake waterway.”
Scientists agree that removing the four lower Snake River dams is the single best action we can take to restore wild salmon to healthy, harvestable numbers. Economists and former Army Corps staff are now telling us that removing these dams makes sense for our pocketbooks too. Please Take Action Now! Tell the Corps to stop wasting our money on this wasteful project. Independent, honest evaluations of these dams show how removing them would benefit endangered wild salmon, our regional economy, and American taxpayers. Blindly spending more of our limited resources to keep these dams operating at a deficit hurts Northwest salmon and our communities.
Thank you.Joseph and Sam and the SOS Team Save Our wild Salmon Coalition