Wenatchee River Institute Red Barn event, Chehalis River at a crossroads
The Chehalis River is at a crossroads – will a proposed flood control dam bring the river’s Chinook Salmon to extinction? On Wed. Mar. 25, 7-8:30PM in the Wenatchee River Institute’s Red Barn, Lee First of Twin Harbors Waterkeeper, will present on the lesser-known Chehalis River located in southwest WA.
The Chehalis River is the homeland of the Confederated Tribe of the Chehalis, who have lived with the river and its flooding for thousands of years, it is also the largest watershed located entirely within the state of Washington. And while the Chehalis produces more salmon than any other river in WA, its salmon resources are now less than 80% of what they once were.
Although the era of dam building is behind us, flooding increased by climate change, aggressive logging, and construction, now threatens businesses, farms and communities. Because the Chehalis River is flood-prone, the Chehalis River Basin Flood Control Zone District and Lewis County commissioners aspire to dam the river’s headwaters. Yet should a dam be constructed, the Spring and Fall Chinook that spawn upstream of the proposed site will suffer severe blows to their numbers.
A lifelong canoeist, in May of 2019 First paddled the length of the Chehalis River, from its headwaters to the ocean. He will tell the story of the river’s amazing resources, the threats posed by a dam, development and forestry, as well as describe how restorative alternatives should be given full consideration before dam building is planned.
A member of the International Waterkeeper Alliance, Twin Harbors Waterkeeper’s mission is to protect water quality in the Chehalis River, Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay Watersheds so that its local waterways remain swimmable, fishable and drinkable for future generations. For the past 13 years, First has also worked as, and alongside, the North Sound Baykeeper and the Spokane Riverkeeper.
Doors open at 6:30pm for community social with local beer and wine available for purchase. While this is a free event, donations are gratefully accepted to benefit WRI youth and adult programs. For more information, contact Rebecca Ryan at (509)548-0181 x2 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Event link: https://wenatcheeriverinstitute.org/event-calendar.html/event/2020/03/25/red-barn-event-the-chehalis-at-a-crossroads/283465
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