Help protect Washington State’s imperiled salmon and steelhead populations by TAKING ACTION and asking state legislators in Olympia to reform suction dredge mining regulations by voting YES on HB 1077 and HB 1106. Washington is the only state with populations of Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed Pacific salmon and steelhead that still allows unpermitted suction dredging and other forms of motorized mineral prospecting.
Suction dredging is a mining method by which the bed of a stream, lake, or river is vacuumed-up and processed through a sluice using a gas-powered motor to search for gold. Once sediment is processed by equipment, it is released back out into the stream or river in a turbid sediment plume.
Proven impacts of these activities include: erosion and sedimentation in streams, which can smother incubating fish eggs and invertebrates; mobilization of mercury and other heavy metals buried in stream sediments; physical impacts to eggs, juvenile fish, invertebrates, and other aquatic organisms that are “processed” by suction dredges; disturbance of riparian vegetation at equipment access points and streamside campsites due to long-term use; and interruption of natural stream form and function and destruction of habitat features.
Learn more about suction dredge mining and why it is imperative we reform Washington State’s regulations.