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Fish Habitat Restoration: It’s Now or Never

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Human beings who eat seafood depend on our waterways for sustenance. Yet, we are our waterways' most treacherous adversary. Exhibit number one is Sunday’s news of a Chinese freighter carrying 65,000 tons of coal and 300,000 gallons of heavy fuel ramming into a southern portion of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. This ship illegally strayed more than nine miles from the nearest shipping lane into a restricted area. This sort of criminal negligence raises my blood pressure to critical mass, so I will move on for fear of stroking out mid-article. Now more than ever fish habitat restoration is of vital importance.

Maintaining the natural living habitat of fish we consume in  a clean state seems obvious. Nothing could be further from the truth. The conditions of our oceans, lakes, rivers, and creeks have deteriorated to unacceptable degrees. Habitat destruction and chemical pollution are at the forefront of why fish are disappearing. Countless species of fish are at perilously low levels. The quintessential book on fish biodiversity and habitat restoration is Fish Conservation: A Guide to Understanding and Restoring Global Aquatic Biodiversity by Gene S. Helfman. Mr. Helfman combines unsurpassed knowledge of the subject with a deep and intense love for fish. Restoring fish habitats requires funding, participation, community embrace, and patience. Luckily, numerous initiatives and programs countrywide have been enacted to combat this problem. Salmon-Safe is one such program making a difference in the Pacific Northwest.

Salmon-Safe is a non profit organization committed to reconditioning agricultural and urban waterways so that salmon can reproduce and bloom. Salmon-Safe acknowledges farms that play a part in restoring ecosystem health in native salmon fisheries of the Pacific Northwest. The salmon rivers of the Pacific Northwest are extremely rich, producing abundant sustenance. Salmon-Safe has spearheaded the movement to preserve these natural treasures.

Both organic and conventional producers are involved with the organization. In order for a farm or company to be Salmon-Safe certified they must pass a rigorous evaluation. These evaluations are performed by licensed experts on location. When you buy a product with the Salmon-Safe label you know that product was produced in an eco-friendly manner.

Salmon-Safe works with farms and businesses to encourage smarter more conscientious agricultural practices. Farmers are encouraged to plant tress along riverside areas, improve irrigation systems to reduce erosion, and quite obviously make certain that harmful pollutants and toxins do not get into the water. Salmon-Safe has expanded beyond the state of Oregon into Washington, California, and Idaho. They have also certified countless dairy farms that have taken on eco-friendly product producing practices. In the end they care. Being responsible, prudent, accountable, and forward thinking is what Salmon-Safe is all about. These types of programs, if initiated on a global scale, could pull us away from the abyss and reform the broken fishing industry. 

We need more organizations like Salmon-Safe to step forward and take care of our waters. It is of supreme consequence. Planet Earth is a shared living environment. At some point the policy of passing the buck will be at an end. The check will eventually have to be paid. Why are our policy makers bent on insuring that future generations will have to deal with catastrophic environmental disaster? I am not. Who is with me?

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About Lazaro Cooks

  • http://www.facebook.com/nancy.batts?ref=profile Nancy Batts

    This article is genius, and I am in agreement with you 100%. I wish our politicians would see things as clearly as you do and act to reverse these horrifying trends. Good job, keep it up!

  • http://lazarocooks.blogspot.com/ LazaroCooks!

    Nancy Batts…Thank you for commenting. Glad you liked the article. At some point we will be held accountable for all of our transgressions committed against nature. Policy makers should realize this sooner rather than later.

  • http://www.greensafeclean.net Chris

    I have been an avid fisherman and have grown up on the water my whole life. Your article was great and I have personally noticed substantial changes in all fisheries. We all need to pay attention and make a positive change for the future.

  • http://lazarocooks.blogspot.com/ LazaroCooks!

    Chris…Thank you for commenting. My sincere hope is that we wake up and make a change before avid fisherman like yourself cannot enjoy our waterways anymore. There have been changes in the fishing industry. However, they have been like a cruise ship trying to turn…long and slowly.

  • http://lazarocooks.blogspot.com/ LazaroCooks!

    onlyn23educ…Thank you for checking out the article and commenting. Keeping our oceans clean is of utmost importance.

  • Kevin

    Years ago I grew up on the Salmon River in NY and watched as they successfully brought the Salmon fishery back. While it may not provide food for many it has been an economic boon for the area as well as brought awareness that a clean river will be healthy for all. Thanks for the article.

  • http://lazarocooks.blogspot.com/ LazaroCooks!

    Kevin…Thank you for taking the time to read it and comment. I’ve had fabulous reaction to the article. I’m just happy to see that people care about such an important topic.

  • http://lazarocooks.blogspot.com/ LazaroCooks!

    blackcarat28…Thank you for taking the time to read the article and comment. You are quite right, we do have MUCH to do with respect to fish habitat restoration.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Another fine article. Keep up the good work!

  • http://lazarocooks.blogspot.com/ LazaroCooks!

    RJ…Thank you very much. I appreciate the support. Have a great day.

  • alley dog

    the article is amazing.. im sure lots of people would be awakened by the reality that we should make actions to save our environment..
    Its really NOW or NEVER!!

    keep it up:)

  • http://lazarocooks.blogspot.com/ LazaroCooks!

    Alley Dog…Thanks for the comment. It’s make or break time, no doubt. Glad you liked the article.

  • at smith

    this article is awesome!
    nice to know that there’s someone like you who still care for our water environment..
    many of us ignore this issue!
    when they would care?when its already late?

    Good Job!

    Keep it up!

  • http://lazarocooks.blogspot.com/ LazaroCooks!

    atsmithco20…I really hope that doesn’t happen. The time to act is now, later may be too late. Thank you for commenting on the article. Cheers!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/scott-deitche/ Scott Deitche

    In the Tampa Bay region, groups ranging from NGO’s like Tampa BayWatch, to local, state, and fed agencies, to the water management district have been restoring estuarine habitat for a couple decades now. There has been increases in oyster bed habitat, salt marshes, and seagrass habitat (though this is due more to work done to reduce nutrient run-off). Coupled with the banning of inshore commercial netting, the fish populations in the Bay are doing pretty well.

  • Lazaro

    Scott…That is amazing what’s going on in Tampa. As a Florida resident I am quite proud. That should be commended. Thank you for your informative comment. Cheers!