You are here: Home Blog Help Protect Threatened Salmon and Steelhead from Pesticides

Help Protect Threatened Salmon and Steelhead from Pesticides

by Josh Vincent — last modified Jun 01, 2011 06:00 PM

NCAP and Defenders of Wildlife are calling on the EPA and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to adopt strong measures to protect fish and people from pesticides. Six pesticides are of special concern: captan, chlorothalonil, 2, 4-D, diuron, linuron and triclopyr BEE.

Take action now: Urge federal officials to adopt strong restrictions against six common toxic pesticides that threaten salmon, steelhead and human health.

The deadline for comments is Friday (June 3rd) -- so please act quickly.


Background

Pacific salmon and steelhead populations have fallen dramatically in recent decades. And pesticides are a distinct threat to their very survival.
 
Pesticides harm salmon and steelhead by directly killing individual fish; killing the organisms that they eat; impairing their ability to find and return to their natal streams; and impairing swimming, predator avoidance and reproduction. For imperiled salmon, this could spell disaster for their recovery.

Pesticides are also dangerous to humans
, causing nervous system damage and impairing brain development in children.
 
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are developing new rules to govern the use of six dangerous pesticides: captan, chlorothalonil, 2, 4-D, diuron, linuron and triclopyr BEE. Now is the time to let them know you want strong guidelines that will protect salmon and steelhead, as well as water quality and human health.

Please take action today and urge federal officials to protect wildlife and human health from toxic pesticides. The deadline for comments is June 3rd, so it's important to act now!


Suggested Talking Points

Please implement strong protective measures to keep pesticides out of our waters.   
 
Pesticides harm salmon and steelhead by directly killing fish; killing the organisms on which they feed; and impairing their ability to swim, avoid predators, navigate to natal streams, and reproduce. For too long, pesticides have been registered for use throughout the western states without regard for their effects on threatened or endangered salmonids.
 
Pesticides can impact the nervous system, causing weakness, cramps, breathing trouble, nausea and vomiting. Animal studies suggest that pesticides impair children's brain development. And studies on farm workers find that people with greater exposure have less motor function and shorter attention spans. Reducing pesticide use improves the quality of our drinking and surface waters, reduces residues of these pesticides in food and reduces farm workers' exposure to poisonous chemicals.
 
I applaud the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) going beyond industry data and evaluating the concerns associated with habitat degradation, exposure to undisclosed inert ingredients and the synergistic effects of pesticides.
 
I also support the proposed protective measures outlined in the draft Biological Opinion. I urge NMFS to maintain and expand upon these protections in the final Biological Opinion.
 
NMFS must ensure that legal pesticide applications do not harm salmon. In addition, the final Biological Opinion should uphold the Endangered Species Act by evaluating  pesticide uses that EPA says are legal, rather than going by pesticide manufacturer's claims that applicators already observe best practices. NMFS should require pesticide applicators to use best management practices that are safer than what current labels allow.
 
Decisive action is needed to keep pesticides out of our water and away from endangered salmon and steelhead. Please protect our environment and public health.
 
Thank you for considering my comments.

Submit your comments urging federal officials to adopt strong standards that protect the environment and public health.