Association of State Wetland Managers - Protecting the Nation's Wetlands.

Views from the Blog-o-sphere

The Economy of Estuary

by Ginger Strand
Orion Magazine – Sept/Oct. 2010
Should nature have a price? The Skagit delta has become a flash point in the battle to save the Pacific Northwest’s iconic fish. That’s because this patchwork of prosperous farms is sitting on land “reclaimed” from its delta. Just where the Skagit River should spread out and wander from side to side, where it should slow down and drop its sediment, it has been hemmed in with levees. Where tiny tributaries should be breathing tides in and out, water has been directed into ditches and sluiced through one-way tide gates out to sea. The delta’s marshes are filled, its boundaries are diked, its waters are pumped up off its fields and into the sound. Over the course of a century, the Skagit delta’s tidal wetlands have been almost eradicated. Apparently following them into oblivion are the salmon who depended on that brackish environment to rear their young.

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