Many sources lead to pollution impairments of Washington’s waterways, but agriculture is the largest. Cow manure, pesticide and fertilizer run-off, and agricultural practices that disturb riparian habitat increase stream temperatures and decrease dissolved oxygen levels, which is deadly for salmon and shellfish.
- WA CAFO Permit Fact Sheet
- An Ecosystem Approach to Salmonid Conservation (Abstract)
- Environmental Protection Agency: Agriculture Nonpoint Source Fact Sheet
- Washington Department of Ecology: Assessment of Nonpoint Pollution in Washington State
In 1991, the federal government listed Snake River sockeye salmon as endangered. In the next few years, 16 more populations of salmon in Washington were listed as either threatened or endangered because of polluted habitat, not harvest. Habitat is not improving, even under the Endangered Species Act.