APRIL 1999

 

APRIL 1999 FULL ISSUE

DOWN THE DRAIN: ACROSS THE WEST, FISH ARE IN TROUBLE, POPULATION IS EXPLODING, WATER QUALITY IS POOR, HABITAT IS A MESS. WHAT CAN WE DO?

By PAUL KOBERSTEIN

If you thought the price of saving salmon was going through the roof, you haven't been to Everett, Wash. There, the city is handing out fish-friendly car wash kits to residents eager to keep oil and grime out of nearby creeks. Throughout Puget Sound and the Willamette Valley, numerous such schemes have been launched to prevent the salmon from going down the drain with the after­ wash.

Among urban residents, enthusiasm for restoring the fish and its habitat appears stronger than ever. Will at-home remedies actually save any fish? Probably some. But rescuing salmon throughout their range, and preventing widespread extinctions, will require cooperation from a broad cross-section of society, including government and business interests. Everyone must make meaningful sacrifices, given the enormity of the problem.

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Paul Koberstein