YERTpod20: The Sound of Dammed Salmon in Washington

Dear YERTians,

Ok, ok, we’re sorry for the excessive dam jokes. We’ve just fallen in love with the oceanic nutrient delivery vehicles called salmon. If you watch the video you’ll know what we mean…

Washington State, particularly the city of Seattle, contained a mother lode of environmental stories that we’re just giddy to share– but we had to choose one, so we focused on the Elwha River Restoration Project in Olympic National Park. Once this thing is complete, you’ll see smiles on most faces– the National Park Service, the Lower Elwha Klallam Indian Tribe, and particularly on salmon faces (yay sushi!), not to mention the countless living things that depend upon such a wonderfully peculiar upstream swimming habit.

You’ll also see a smile on the face of our friend Amy at Xeko (you saw her in Trailer 1), who reappears to creatively describe Xeko and the superpowers of salmon. Kathleen Drew, Executive Policy Advisor for Sustainability for Washington Governor Gregoire, gave us a bit of perspective on these issues. And we were blown away by the single-handed and mindedness of Sue Joerger and the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance as they patrol the Sound to make sure that businesses along the waterfront are following the law– leaving a cleaner habitat for those struggling salmon.


Ben, Julie, and Mark (Your YERT Team)

P.S. And now for Breadcrumbs! If you want to learn more about the topics in this video, check out these resources:

  • Xeko – We admit it. We absolutely love Xeko and all the folks working there. Ben and Julie will be teaching their new kiddo all about animals with this eco-adventure game, and Mark just enjoys looking at all the pretty pictures.
  • Puget Soundkeeper Alliance – We thought that the government was the organization responsible for monitoring pollution in the sound… but it appears that we’d be up a creek if we left it entirely to Uncle Sam. According to the Soundkeeper website, “The mission of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance is to protect and preserve Puget Sound by tracking down and stopping the discharge of toxic pollutants into its waters. The Alliance is the only organization that actively monitors and patrols the waters of Puget Sound to detect and document sources of illegal pollution.”
  • The Elwha River Restoration Project – The National Park Service is working to pull down a couple of dams built on the Elwha River nearly 100 years ago. They were initially built to create electricity, but in this case, the value of the ecosystem outweighs the need for that power from those dams, so they’re coming down. Check out the old but more informative NPS website here, and the newer but unfinished website here. There’s also a nifty PDF that narrates the details of the project here.
  • More on our Blog – Julie tackles most of the issues covered in this video in more detail in her blog entry: Day 92, 93: WA: On to the Heavy. Saving the Sound, and Salmon.


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