Tag Archives: habitat

Washington tribe gets its Chinook salmon back

Chinook spawn in Elwha River
Chinook salmon spawn in Elwha River
Many generations of Chinook salmon were unable for a 100 year period to reach the Elwha River to lay eggs and raise their young. Access was blocked by two huge dams that are being removed, making the river and its tributaries habitat once again for fish travelling from the oceans where they spend their adult lives outside of spawning season. Many of the newly opened waterways lie within the protective borders of Olympic National Park in Washington state.

In 1986 the Lower Elwha Klallam Indian tribe challenged the relicensing of the 64-meter-tall Glines Canyon Dam and the 33-meter-tall Elwha Dam that prevented their “dammed salmon” from accessing the river. The removals open up 112 kilometers of river and tributary habit for wildlife, fish and other seafood and will restore the tribe’s access to the traditions and diet that are interwoven with its culture as river stewards.

The US National Park Service reports

Dam removal began on the Elwha River in mid-September 2011. Today, Elwha Dam is gone, over fifty percent of Glines Canyon Dam has been removed, the Lake Mills and Lake Aldwell reservoirs have drained, and the Elwha River flows freely from its headwaters in the Olympic Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca for the first time in 100 years. Dam Removal dam is scheduled to be complete by September 2014.

Webcams and dam removal blog by the NPS Elwha River Project.

National Geographic has done several reports on this project:
Rebirth on the River: Washington’s Elwha Flourishing After Big Dam Removals
Salmon Re-enter Olympic National Park River Thanks to Elwha Dam Removal
Dam Removals Open Way for Cultural and Habitat Restoration

Spectacular time lapse video of dam explosion and Elwha River waterway being re-established.

AP article

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Can the 1 Billion Oyster Project clean New York Harbor? We’ll soon know.

logosStudents of the New York Harbor School’s Professional Diving and Vessel Operations Programs work together to create a billion oyster reef and monitor how it impacts the harbor. The school’s ambitious 1 Billion Oyster Project goal is to introduce 1 billion oysters into New York Harbor, where they will clean the water and create much needed habitat for the restoration of harbor health and a variety of aquatic species.

The program is also going to give huge numbers of students an appreciation for the water that surrounds their city and prepare many for specialized careers that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. Aquatic Program Director Pete Malinowski, explains:

The port employs 300,000 people and only 12% of them went to public school in New York City, so there’s a fundamental disconnect between young people in the city and the water.

The school is situated on Governor’s Island, but Wall Street Journal producer Jeff Bush visited the teams on the water, at the site of an oyster reef they are monitoring. The school’s Co-Founder and President, Murray Fisher, told Bush that as each adult oyster, “filters a gallon of water an hour,” with a billion oysters, “the standing volume of water in New York Harbor could be filtered every 3 days.”

The Big Oyster bookMark Kurlansky’s book The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell tells about the rise and fall of New York Harbor’s health in relationship to the oyster. According to Kurlansky, all we needed to do to sustain the health of New York Harbor was, continue throwing discarded oyster shells back into the water – because the breakdown of their shells will feed the growth of living oysters. Maybe we’ll be smarter this time around, taking our cue from the success of communities like Olympia, WA.

Maliownski teaches that being a keystone species, oysters “grow on top of each other and build their own habitat.” Oysters attach to each other to create large reefs which in turn, become environments for other species of aquatic life. “In NY Harbor they were the backbone of aquatic life,” Malinowski remarks.

Hopefully, the time is coming soon when they will be again.

Want to become a Palm Oil Action Leader and help stop cookies from destroying our world?

Conflict palm oil destructionI know it seems crazy, but the way some our favorite foods are grown and manufactured is doing fantastic harm to our world. Conflict palm oil is one product that harms the environment and is widely used in mass produced baked goods including crackers and GirlScout cookies … so the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is putting together a coalition of leaders who will learn to lead a movement to protect rainforests, the ecosystems they are home to, the air they clean and orangutans. Maybe you’d like to sign on.

CONFLICT PALM OIL: Are your cookies causing orangutan extinction?

We may not be able to see it, but Conflict Palm Oil has become ubiquitous in our everyday lives. It is found in roughly half the packaged products sold in US grocery stores, including favorite snack foods like ice cream, cookies, crackers, chocolate products, cereals, doughnuts and potato chips. In fact, palm oil is likely present in some form in nearly every room of your home.

Demand for palm oil is skyrocketing worldwide. The recent spike in use by the US snack food industry is due in large part to Conflict Palm Oil being used as a replacement for controversial trans fats. The oil is extracted from the fruit of oil palms native to Africa, now grown primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Conflict Palm Oil production is now one of the world’s leading causes of rainforest destruction. Unchecked expansion is pushing new plantations deep into the heart of some of the world’s most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems. Irreplaceable wildlife species like the Sumatran Rhino, Sumatran Elephant and the Sumatran and Borneo orangutan are being driven to the brink of extinction.

But Conflict Palm Oil is not only a local problem. The clearing of rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands for new plantations is releasing globally significant carbon pollution, making Conflict Palm Oil a major driver of human induced climate change.

If this issue concerns you, maybe you’d like

Palm Oil Action Leaders: Building a Movement to Cut Conflict P…

Ever wonder how you can fight deforestation, human rights abuses, child and forced labor, and the extinction of iconic species like the orangutan in YOUR community? RAN's Palm Oil Action Team organizes in their communities and online, around the world, to pressure the biggest corporations on the world to cut Conflict Palm Oil. The Snack Food 20 corporations would hate it – and we would love it – if you joined the Palm Oil Action Team. Check out the video of some of our local leaders, then get involved at http://a.ran.org/a2N

Posted by Rainforest Action Network on Tuesday, 4 August 2015

An animal friend speaking through sign language to tell about his home needing protection from conflict palm oil destruction is Strawberry the Orangutan. There are only about 60,000 wild orangutans left.

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