Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, in a rare step earlier this month, wrote British Columbia Premier John Horgan with “grave concern,” admonishing his government for not consulting with the city on a B.C. logging project some 125 miles away from Seattle at the headwaters of the Skagit River.

Jennifer McIntyre.
Jennifer McIntyre

Among the host of problem issues raised by the project is introduction of metals, particularly copper, that are toxic to salmon. Copper dissolved in water can interact with the gills of salmon and prevent proper breathing or cause dangerous ion imbalances in their bodies, said Jen McIntyre, an assistant professor at Washington State University’s School of Environment.

Even low concentrations of dissolved copper can impair neurons, damaging salmons’ sense of touch and ability to smell. That can prevent them from finding food, evading predators or making their way to spawning ground, McIntyre said.

Find out more

Bellingham Herald