RICHLAND, Wash. — Hundreds of people came to Wye Park on September 1 to attend a Yakama Nation event raising awareness about an illegal causeway bridge damaging local salmon survival. Leaders spoke about a causeway between Wye Park and Bateman island, saying it was built illegally as an earthen bridge.
The causeway reduces river flow, impacting salmon migration in the Yakima River and the Columbia River, according to the press release from the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. It reportedly also causes higher water temperatures and sedimentation, which draws in invasive species.
Yakama Nation leaders called for the immediate removal of the causeway and additional steps to protect and restore the salmon species. Numerous community groups and legislators attended as solutions and fundraising efforts were discussed.
Those in attendance advocated for the creation of a comprehensive legislative action plan, which would fund fish passages and restoration work, increase resources for fish population protection, ensure new infrastructure projects respect tribal rights and sovereignty and put tribal and fishery leaders in charge of restoration.
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