Activists march 236 miles, push to breach lower Snake River dams


March For the Dams begins in Portland and culminates at the Ice Harbor Lock and Dam

A marcher prepares for a 236 march to Washington from Portland. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — More than one hundred demonstrators and activists have planned to march 236 miles Sunday in an effort to pressure governing bodies to breach the four lower Snake River dams in 2020.

March For the Dams is a trek beginning in Portland and culminating at the Ice Harbor Lock and Dam in Washington state, according to organizers.

The Coextinction Foundation, the We Are The Orca movement, and PNW Protectors are leading the demonstration. Members from the Palouse Tribe and Nez Perce Tribe are also slated to take part in the event.

Organizers said the movement is a response to the dams killing more than 8 million wild salmon each year. They said the dams prevent adult salmon from reproducing and is why 2019 had the lowest return of salmon on record.

Oregon governor Kate Brown has also shown support for the movement. On February 15, Brown sent a letter to Washington governor Jay Inslee saying breaching the four dams is the best way to increase endangered salmon runs.

Critics have argued breaching the dams sacrifices too much because the dams generate electricity, provide flood control and allow barges to operate all the way to Lewiston, Idaho.

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