SWINOMISH DEMANDS EPA ACT TO STOP HARM TO LOWER SKAGIT RIVER SALMON FROM TEMPERATURE POLLUTION
February 23, 2024 - Swinomish filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on the State Department of Ecology failure to implement a 20-year-old water clean-up plan to address warm stream temperatures in the Lower Skagit River that cause ongoing harm to salmon. The notice makes clear that EPA must reinitiate Endangered Species Act consultation on how to ensure that threatened salmon are protected under the clean-up plan.
“The Swinomish people’s way of life and livelihoods, as well as protected Treaty rights, have been disrespected and disregarded for years. It is time for this to stop,” said Chairman Edwards. “The Skagit River and its tributaries are critical habitat for Chinook recovery in the Puget Sound. We are the People of the Salmon, and these fish are integral to the Tribe’s sustenance, culture, identity, and economy, yet we no longer have enough to feed our families, and the Orcas are starving. Our federal and state natural resource trustees must finally find the political will to act.”
This problem dates back many decades and stems from agriculture and other development along the river and its tributaries that stripped away nearly all the native trees and streamside vegetation that once provided shade and habitat critical for salmon. With streamside vegetation now nearly all gone, temperatures in the lower Skagit River watershed have exceeded water quality standards for over two decades, reaching harmful, often lethal temperatures for salmon and other aquatic life.
- FULL PRESS RELEASE
- 60-DAY NOTICE OF INTENT
- SEATTLE TIMES: Swinomish Tribe files notice of intent to sue EPA over warming WA streams
SHELLFISH PSP MONITORING AT LONE TREE POINT
October 16, 2023 – NO TRACE DETECTED in butter clam sample
RECREATIONAL BEACHES BACTERIA MONITORING
Swinomish Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) conducts weekly bacterial monitoring of six swimming beaches during summer (June – August) and monitors monthly throughout the rest of the year.