Salmon and Streams to Benefit from New ‘Climate Action Plan’

St. Andrews, NB (PRWEB) June 28, 2013

Conservation groups concerned with the preservation and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon in both Canada and the United States can breathe a little easier this week, following President Obamas announcement on Tuesday that he will unveil a new Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions. The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) says that the newly unveiled strategy comes at a critical time, since many populations of Atlantic salmon have declined to historically low levels across their North American range.

The Climate Action Plan primarily targets greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, that contribute to global warming. While a warming global climate may have its own implications for the health of aquatic ecosystems, a key benefit to species like Atlantic salmon comes indirectly, through actions that promote switching fuel sources from coal to natural gas and renewables.

The fact that burning coal is about twice as carbon-intensive as natural gas has fueled the incentive to phase out older coal technologies, that for decades, emitted greenhouse gasses as well as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, the primary ingredients of acid rain.

Acid rain became an environmental buzz word in the 1980s, once scientists and policy makers realized that the acidification of lakes, rivers and streams had been silently killing an extraordinary number of fish down-wind of major coal powered electrical facilities.

Changes made by the U.S. Congress to the Clean Air Act in 1990 reduced the deposition of acid rain by as much as 40%, and so the problem was largely thought to be resolved.

In some parts of North America, however, the legacy of acid rain and its continued deposition- albeit less severe- continues to suppress natural productivity in freshwater ecosystems.

Lewis Hinks, ASFs Director of Programs in Nova Scotia, Canada, has worked with government, scientists, and local communities for over two decades, in some of the areas most affected by acid rain in North America. For Mr. Hinks, Obamas promise of clean air is good news for fresh water.

If you thought the days of acid rain were over, says Mr. Hinks, visit the southern uplands region of Nova Scotia. We are still struggling with high acidity levels here, because our granite rock geology is very slow to repair the soils needed to neutralize acidic water.

Nova Scotia, though thousands of miles away from the power plants targeted by the Climate Action Plan, falls downwind of acid rain pollution coming from the American Midwest, especially the Ohio Valley. No less than 50 of Nova Scotias rivers have been impacted by acid rain, 14 of which have had their wild Atlantic salmon populations completely wiped out. Salmon populations on other rivers exist only on life-support, through the ongoing use of a sophisticated liming program to neutralize acidity.

Through liming, we have been able to reduce acid-related mortality of wild Atlantic salmon to nearly zero, and juvenile salmon (smolt) production has significantly increased in limed sections of the rivers, says Mr. Hinks. But we cant keep doing this forever. In order for fish communities to persist, the conditions in our rivers need to be restored naturally, through the elimination of acid rain.

Mr. Hinks is cautiously optimistic that the shift away from coal-based electrical power, as outlined in the new Climate Action Plan, will contribute to the recovery of wild salmon and other fish populations across the Eastern United States and Atlantic Canada.

Under Obamas new plan, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will issue a proposal by late September to regulate greenhouse gases from new power plants. By next June, EPA will propose guidelines for states to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Once implemented, these new regulations could bring an end to the era of dirty coal technologies, and provide some much-needed relief to aquatic communities that continue to be affected by acid rain today.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon and the ecosystems on which their well-being and survival depend. ASF has a network of seven regional councils (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Maine and Western New England). The regional councils cover the freshwater range of the Atlantic salmon in Canada and the United States.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Spanish Crisis Triggers Real Estate Price Collapse

Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) June 29, 2012 A move by Spanish banks to offload the build-up of foreclosed properties on their [...]

Self Storage Provider Coronado Mobile Storage Joins Forces with LAD Solutions in Promoting Storage Containers as Mobile Offices

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) July 03, 2012 With the collapse in real estate prices and explosive growth in home foreclosures [...]


Real Estate Prices LOFTS DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES FOR SALE AND LEASE RENTALS. LA loft prices and market report Corey Chambers, [...]

Mortgage Rates Drop to New Record Lows Influencing Increase In Refinancing and Home Building Activity According to

Wilmington, NC (PRWEB) July 24, 2012 Mortgage rates have reached a new historical low point for 30 year fixed, 15 [...]

NFIB Stated Confidence in Small Business Takes a Steep Drop XSM Services aimed to Restore Faith

Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) January 30, 2013 After the recession took its toll on the U.S. economy, the fiscal cliff and [...]

Junior State of America Releases Winter 2013 Edition of Student-Run Magazine, The Junior Statement

Washington, DC (PRWEB) January 31, 2013 The Junior State of America (JSA) today released the Winter 2013 Edition of The [...]