By Julie Wilson – Natural News
(NaturalNews) Flowing through the Pacific Northwest, the Columbia River Basin is known for its magnitude, as it empties more water into the Pacific Ocean than any other river in North and South America. Known for its plentiful salmon population, which has declined dramatically since the early 1900s, the river supplies life to countless plants, animals, fish, birds and insects.
The river holds economic viability, as it generates hydroelectric power, but is also sacred to tribal fisheries, offering scenic and recreational value. However, under current conditions, its beauty might not be sustainable, as corporations and urbanization continue to erode and pollute nature.
For decades, scientists have detected an increase in a variety of chemical contamination in the Basin, threatening vulnerable wildlife. The most widespread pollutants in the Basin are mercury, DDT, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and fire retardants, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2009 State of the River Report for Toxics.