07-03-2003, 10:00 PM
The Dungeness River, in western Washington, is one of the few rivers left in the country that's relatively undamaged. Home to almost every species of northwest Salmon, it suffers mainly from low flow. But changes are coming to the Olympic Peninsula. In the tiny town of Sequim, not 1,400 feet from the River, Wal-Mart is planning to build a new supercenter, the size of the Tacoma Dome. Meanwhile, another shopping center - twice as large - is planned across the street. During our arid summers, pollution will build up on 75 acres of impervious parking lots. Come the first winter storm, that toxic material will be washed into stormwater ponds, then released into the ground. The sandy soil of this region is not good at retaining these toxins, so they will end up in the aquifer, which is in hydraulic continuity with the Dungeness River. Go to www.sequimfirst.org for more info. Anything from letters and e-mails to national publicity will help. Thanks!