LETTER: Hydroelectric dams decimate marine life

I have the good fortune of living across the bay from the Trial Islands. Over the past year, I have noticed significant increase in marine activity related to the increase in the herring population. This culminated in the celebrated arrival of a large herd of California sea lions residing on the Trial Islands.

During the sea lions’ stay here I found myself worrying about the impact this large herd may have on the herring population, and the consequences the decline in the recovering herring population would have on the chinook salmon population of which our threatened southern resident orcas depend on as their primary food source.

I realize that the laws of nature ought to find a balance. However, this balance has been skewed against the salmon and orcas by the construction of hydroelectric dams over the past century and a half. These dams have and continue to decimate the ecology of the rivers they reside on. The impact hydroelectric dams have on our resident orcas has been and continues to have a devastating effect on the orcas’ primary food source, the salmon. There have been feeble attempts to mitigate the effects of hydro dams by building salmon hatcheries but compared to the natural productivity of the rivers these hatcheries amount to throwing a few crumbs to our resident orcas.

The consequences of “clean hydroelectric power” on the environment are massive. To consider these dams a clean source of renewable energy is tantamount to having Tesla whaling vessels. It’s time we start the conversation about weaning our energy needs off the destructive consequences of hydro dams. This conversation is so much more than salmon and orcas. These dams have virtually wiped out sturgeon populations upstream – just one more of the many species that have been decimated. So much for biodiversity.

Keith Brown

Oak Bay

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up