Taking out big, deadbeat dams can be a long, grueling process. With nearly 20 years under our belt fighting for the removal of four deadbeat dams on the lower Snake River—writing letters, funding the grassroots, making inspiring films like DamNation—we know that sometimes what the movement needs is action.
On Saturday October 3, 2015, over 300 people—fishermen, Native Americans, farmers, orca lovers, business owners, salmon advocates, kayakers, and conservationists—gave us a moment to turn up the volume, protest, and push even harder on this issue. Together, this diverse group formed the “Free the Snake Flotilla”. Over 130,000 people have signed petitions and postcards asking President Obama, his administration, members of Congress, and key state and federal agencies to take these harmful dams out.
As they gathered in kayaks and other water craft, this group of unlikely activists all agreed that the current situation on the Snake is unacceptable, and growing worse by the year: thousands of endangered salmon died this summer due to over-heated river and reservoir water; endangered orcas starved because their favorite food supply of Snake River Chinook salmon has been decimated by the dams; and over $9 billion in government spending over the past 30 years, mostly on hatcheries and other failed approaches, hasn’t recovered any endangered wild fish runs.
Add your voice to the chant led by kayakers, and heard by officials standing on the dams: Free the Snake! Take action and sign the petition.