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In 1938, they built the Grand Coulee Dam without fish ladders, without any way for the salmon to pass the dam or to continue up river along their native habitats fo spawn. It was a conscious decision to not allow the salmon to pass the dam. Before that mistake, millions of salmon used to pass where the dam was built every year. So the dam builders killed the salmon runs for 80 years. Each of those 80 years multiplied by one million fish equals about 80 million fish that were destroyed by the Snake and Columbia River dams. Nice planning, huh?

Now, we’re being pushed by industry advocates to spare the dams on the Snake and Columbia. After 80 million fish have perished? You want to preserve your precious dams, you want society to forget the 80 million salmon the dams killed? It’s too late to save the dams; they’ve caused enough harm to our fisheries. It’s time to remove the dams on both the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The dam pushers have had 80 years to fix the problem, and have failed to do so. Your time is up. Now it’s time to remove the dams.

Imagine how many orcas and people that many salmon could have fed all these years, and how healthy the orca pods would be today. Look what happened in Menas Gerais, Southwest Brazil — 279 are missing, and 65 reported dead, due to the dam’s bursting and flooding this week. We don’t want to wait for a tragedy to occur before ending the tenure of the dams in Washington. Oregon and Idaho. They’re not worth the costs. Eighty years is long enough.

Joe Paliani

Ocean Park

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