After the Salmon Spill

I hope our county commissioners have the courage to simply say “Request Denied” at the September hearing about allowing net pens in the waters off Ediz Hook. Maybe even say “No Way” and cancel the whole deal, after this week’s disastrous accidental release of more than 300,000 Atlantic salmon near the San Juan Islands.

There’s something to be said about not wasting everyone’s time.

Why is Washington the only west coast state that allows net pens in its waters? California, Oregon and Alaska already said NO.

Apparently some political shenanigans, maneuvering and arm-twisting years ago allowed these disease-spreading aquatic feedlots off our shores. But that was then.

Some advocated for net pens because of the half-dozen or so jobs they’d provide. No point in discussing how many such jobs are being turned over to robots.

There’s no place for the bungling, ill-trained and/or incompetent in any positions where they can damage an ecosystem.

There’s no room for error where most salmon runs are at historic lows and our iconic orcas, which depend on salmon, are struggling and dying.

You can’t take back a spill – whether it’s alien penned salmon, oil from a tanker, or oil, gas or bitumen from a pipeline.

There’s no room for error as we’re still struggling to undo mistakes from the past –removing culverts, restoring the flows, meanders and snags of our rivers and streams.

To err is human, but to forgive — not to mention lessen — the damage, may well require divine intervention.

 

Published by

dianasomerville

A freelance writer who lives near Olympic National Park in a house overlooking the Salish Sea, I'm nourished by Mother Nature and enjoy exploring the places where science, spirit, and story come together. Part science geek, part spiritual feminist, part Earth-loving tree-hugger, I continue learning the many ways that how we think and what we believe helps shape our world. Quantum physics shows us that our personal energy is too often overlooked as force for positive change; indigenous wisdom leads us to connect with all beings in a good way. I've told the research stories of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado, Boulder, and contributed regular columns for newspapers in Boulder, Colo., Sequim and Port Angeles Washington.

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