Salmon Safe Soapbox
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How Wine Can Save Salmon

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Change.org

Uncorking a bottle of wine can elicit merriment, boost heart health, and even relieve stress. But one program brings another benefit to pouring a glass of vino — helping out struggling salmon populations. The Salmon-Safe certification program is taking off in America's Northwest and the Walla Walla Valley, regions famous for their cool-climate grape varietals like Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Noir. More than 220 vineyards in Oregon and Washington earned Salmon-Safe certification so far, and the interest continues to grow as fast as the grapes themselves. So how, exactly, can a vineyard that grows wine help out threatened Pacific salmon? Easy. That vineyard can grow with the environment in mind. The Northwest and Walla Walla Valley are huge wine- and food-producing regions. All those farms and vineyards typically use a ton of chemicals through fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. As growers irrigate their crops and grapes, water mixes with those chemicals, eventually running off into local watersheds. Pollution — as well as erosion caused by farming — negatively impacts Pacific salmon and their natural habitat...

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