Salmon to Sea Awareness Trip
The Salmon to Sea Awareness Trip is a 900-mile source-to-sea kayaking journey that will take place on the Salmon, Snake and Columbia River systems in August and September 2006. The trip will begin near the headwaters of the Salmon River in Stanley, Idaho.
All along this trip we plan on stopping in the towns along the river (i.e. Stanley, Challis, Salmon, Riggins, Lewiston, Tri-Cities, Hood River, Portland and Astoria). At these “Awareness” stops we will arrange to talk with local journalists and school groups and in several key cities we will have full-blown planned public rallies. The possibilities for the awareness stops are open to just about anything that we can come up with. We believe these educational stops will generate excitement about this trip and to the cause of wild salmon restoration.
On August 16, 2006 this trip will arrive at Corn Creek area of the Salmon River and will be joining an OARS-Dories commercial trip. This trip has been donated by OARS-Dories and sold by IRU as a fundraiser and as a way to talk with people in the environment in which we are trying to help. We would like to have someone join this trip to speak about wild salmon restoration and current environmental issues. We intend on having a national media presence on this trip for additional coverage.
As part of our fundraising for this trip, we will ask various outdoor companies and manufacturers to donate equipment (i.e. kayaks, paddles, tents, etc.) that will be used on this source to sea journey. The intention of this is to allow companies to show their support through a donation of their products. In December of 2006 there will be a charity auction of the donated gear with all proceeds going to IRU and SOS to assist in the wild salmon restoration fight. We also hope to raise money through private donations of those who are made aware of this issue through this trip and the publicity surrounding it.
This trip is important due to the sensitive nature of salmon migration. Our journey will retrace an ancient salmon migration path that is essentially extinct. There are many factors concerning the extinction of certain species of salmon, such as dams, fish hatcheries, and streamside erosion. In the 1950's there were an estimated 4,000 sockeye salmon returning to Redfish Lake each year. In 2004, 24 sockeye made it back on their 900-mile journey from the Pacific Ocean, up the Columbia, Snake and Salmon River systems, passing numerous dams along the way. Wild Salmon, especially Snake River Salmon are in dire need of additional support that they are not getting. Today 1/10 of 1% of salmon spawned in Idaho makes it back to spawn. Through this trip, as well as the photographs, magazine and newspaper articles that come from it we can raise awareness and money to educate the public, leading to political change. The potential implications could lead to policy change, dam removal and the return of wild salmon and steelhead to sustainable levels.