Wednesday Wake-Up Call 01.26.22

The River of Grass received much needed funding for long overdue restoration projects.
Photo by Joel Ruby

Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a roundup of the most pressing conservation issues important to anglers. Working with our friends at Trout UnlimitedBackcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation PartnershipThe Everglades FoundationCaptains for Clean WaterVoteWater.org, and Conservation Hawks (among others), we’ll make sure you’ve got the information you need to understand the issues and form solid opinions.

If you know of an important issue–whether it’s national or local–that anglers should be paying attention to, comment below, and we’ll check it out!

1. Federal Government Commits $1.1B for Everglades Restoration

Last Wednesday, the Biden administration announced a plan to spend $1.1 billion to restore the Everglades. According the White House, “The Administration is making the largest single investment in the Everglades in U.S. history . . . . The iconic American landscape provides drinking water supply for over 8 million Floridians, supports the state’s $90 billion tourism economy, and is home to dozens of endangered or threatened species.”

Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg praised the decision, but wants to make sure that the funds are directed where they can be most effective:

“The Everglades Foundation applauds the federal government’s significant commitment of $1.1 billion for Everglades restoration. For too long, the residents of South Florida have suffered as a result of toxic discharges, algae blooms, fish kills, economic losses and a parched Everglades National Park. In order to maximize the environmental benefits to be achieved by Everglades restoration, the Army Corps of Engineers should direct the funding toward construction of the vital EAA Reservoir.”

Click here for the full story on 7 News Miami.

Click here for an Op Ed about why Everglades Restoration is Vital.

2. Dam Removals Show Positive Results in Washington and Maine

Elwha dam.
Photo by John McMillan

Two great articles on Trout Unlimited highlight the clear benefits of dam removal, using the Elwha (WA) and Kennebec (ME) rivers as evidence:

It is not always possible to restore wild places to their former ecological and aesthetic glory once human development has altered them. In some cases, however, the vitality of wild places can be recovered. 

The lessons from the way anadromous fish have returned to these rivers should steel our resolve to continue to fight for dam removal on rivers such as the Lower Snake.

Click here for the Elwha Story and the Kennebec Story.

3. Pennsylvania’s Stream Pollution Worse Than Previous Estimates

Map from the Draft 2022 Pennsylvania Integrated Water Quality Report represents all of Pennsylvania’s impaired waters 

One-third of all Pennsylvania waterways are now considered polluted enough to harm wildlife, recreation, or drinking water, according to a report released this week by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP listed 27,886 miles of streams it found impaired in one or more ways, which is about 9% worse than its 2020 estimate. That’s 2,398 more miles of streams that Pennsylvania has designated as impaired over the last two years.

Click here for the full story in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

4. Frank Moore, Protector of North Umpqua Steelhead, Passes Away

Frank Moore, a decorate WWII veteran who spent more than seven decades living along the North Umpqua River in Roseburg, Oregon, passed away at the age of 98 on Sunday. Moore was a fierce advocate for the river’s wild steelhead, and he played a large role in the creation of the fly-fishing-only stretch of river. The establishment of the Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Management Area, which enhanced protections for nearly 100,000 acres of the watershed, is a testament to the work that Frank and his wife did to ensure a healthy river and fishery.  

Click here for more on TU.org.

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