Columbia River Basin

Your donation to our Columbia River Basin work will help us force the EPA to finally take action and give wild salmon, steelhead, and Puget Sound orcas a fighting chance at survival.
Original oil painting by Rachel Teannalach.

About the Campaign

Hot water in the Columbia River Basin is to blame for massive salmon and steelhead die-offs. Dams along the Columbia and Snake Rivers create vast reservoirs of slow-moving water, and climate change is heating these waters to deadly temperatures.

The EPA has long acknowledged the problem and even agreed to develop a legally enforceable pollution budgetcalled a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)to address hot water. But the agency has continually bowed to pressure from dam operators and has done nothing to cool water temperatures. Wild salmon and steelhead populations are now in a “state of collapse” and face the threat of extinction.

The precipitous decline of wild Chinook salmon is also having a devastating effect on Puget Sound resident orcas, which rely on these fish as their primary food source. At last count, this imperiled population has dwindled to just 76 orcas.

Advocates for the West recently filed the first lawsuit against EPA-Administrator and climate change denier Scott Pruitt for the agency’s failure to protect salmon and steelhead from hot water in the Columbia River Basin.

Click here to learn more about our cases in the Columbia River Basin.