Hip Hop Icon Macklemore Joins 'A River for All' Campaign
“We are Seattle. No bridge, boundaries or invisible man-made lines divide us," said Macklemore. “This is our home, our people and our community. This is our city’s only river, and I want to do my part to make sure that it’s safe for all that reside here. I stand in solidarity with community leaders and families who have organized for years to right this injustice.”
DRCC, Puget Soundkeeper and a growing list of civic leaders insist a stronger cleanup plan is needed to protect communities and restore Seattle’s only river. The current plan, favored by city and county officials, would leave dangerous levels of toxic chemicals like arsenic and PCBs, posing health risks to people, wildlife and the entire Puget Sound food web. Experts agree more needs to be done.
"Evidence from other cleanup sites around the country shows that 'natural recovery' can take decades longer than expected, and may not stop buried chemicals from getting into the food chain anyway," according to the coalition's environmental consultant, Peter deFur. "The responsible approach, from an environmental and health perspective, is to get the toxins out of the river altogether."
The new effort asks citizens to get involved and let their leaders know they want a clean and safe Duwamish River.
“The Duwamish is my river. I have spent many a day cleaning debris from its shores, sharing its wonders with our community and fighting for its protection," said Puget Soundkeeper Chris Wilke. "If we were most anywhere else, this would be our waterfront. But for the Sound and the lakes, we forget: the Duwamish River is the lifeblood of Seattle. Salmon and people, eagles and osprey, seals and sea lions. It must be protected."
In 2001, The Duwamish River was listed as a federal Superfund Site, identifying it as one of the most toxic waste sites in the nation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's cleanup plan, released for public comment last year, states that its approach is unlikely to make the river safe enough to protect the health of people who regularly eat its resident fish, like perch and crab, according to DRCC.
“Cleaning up the Duwamish is essential to the recovery of Puget Sound. As long as toxic pollution keeps leaching into the Sound, marine resources—from oysters to orcas—won’t fully recover." said Earth Day founder Denis Hayes. "The Duwamish is Seattle’s estuary. We ought to treasure it, like New York treasures the Hudson. And we need to restore it to health."