How you can help

Making a difference for salmon

To bring salmon back to levels that support our environment and communities, it’s going to take all of us doing our part. By making a few small changes in your everyday life, you can have a big impact for salmon, whose future is so closely linked to our own.

 

In your yard

  • Limit using pesticides, weed killers, and fertilizers. These chemicals can make their way into waterways, where they harm fish.
  • Landscape with native, drought-resistant plants.
  • Landscape with pest-resistant plants so you won’t need bug and weed killers.
  • Join the country’s largest private-land conservation program to preserve shoreline and riverbank habitat through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.
  • Have your septic tank inspected by the Washington State Department of Health.
  • Pick up dog poop. Whatever you don’t pick up gets washed into waterways, and doesn’t go through a treatment plant.
  • Conserve water by installing a rain garden, rain barrels, or a cistern. The less water we use, the more that remains in the waterways for fish.
  • Restore and preserve the habitat near the shoreline for the fish salmon eat by participating in the state’s Shore Friendly program.
  • Remove fish passage barriers on your property with no cost through the Family Forest Fish Passage Program.

 

In your home

  • Conserve water (and money) by installing water efficient taps on your sinks and shower heads. You may be eligible for discounts on water-saving products.
  • Turn off lights and electronics when you’re not using them. Look for the Energy Star label when you’re shopping for new electronics. Electricity is produced at dams, which can block salmon migration. Limiting your electrical use decreases the demand for dam-generated electricity.
  • Safely dispose of batteries, motor oil, and other toxic chemicals.
  • Choose all-natural cleaning products or try making your own to reduce the amount of chemicals you pour down the drain and into our salmon. Look for the Safer Choice label to find nontoxic cleaning options.
  • Avoid products containing microbeads. These little plastic beads get into the water and wreak havoc on the health of fish and other wildlife.
  • Look into how much food you might be wasting and resources to put food to use and save money at the grocery store.
  • Get rid of unwanted or expired medicines safely and responsibly so they don’t get into waterways and damage fish. Find a medicine take-back location near you.

 

In your car

  • Reduce your transportation footprint and try to incorporate more trips by foot, bike, public transportation, or carpool.
  • Wash your cars on your lawn or at a car wash to prevent harmful chemicals from flowing down the storm drain.
  • Ask about low copper products when you’re replacing the brake pads on your vehicle. Copper from conventional brake pads is released in a fine dust each time a car slows. When it rains, the copper dust is washed into nearby waterways. Copper is toxic to fish and interferes with their sense of smell. It affects how fish locate food, avoid predators, and find their home streams.
  • Help keep toxins from your car tires out of waterways. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and maintained over time.
  • Keep up on car maintenance, vehicle leaks, and inspections. A quick and easy — and free! — visual leak inspection is available from Don’t Drip and Drive, a regional campaign from the Washington Department of Ecology and local repair shops.

 

In your wardrobe

  • Wear less polyester, which can put plastic fibers into the water.
  • Use chemical-free products to wash your clothes and other household items.

 

At the grocery store

  • Choose products without packaging, such as bulk items and loose produce. Packaging can end up in our oceans where our salmon and their food sources live.
  • Look for the Salmon-Safe logo to support farms and businesses that protect water quality, helping to restore habitat for salmon.
  • Bring your own bags for your groceries and produce. Plastic bags can kill wildlife—plus reusable bags are stronger.

 

With your time

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