Letter: Oil leaks can devastate recreation



I kite board below the Bonneville Dam, where I put in at Beacon Rock State Park, and so I read the March 6 Columbian online story, “Small oil leak reported at Bonneville Dam,” with great interest. Apparently, oil has been leaking into the Columbia River for over a month from the dam, creating an oily sheen on the river. The rising walls of the Columbia River Gorge below Bonneville is one of the most spectacular places to kite. No local — including myself — or tourist wants to kite through oil sheens.

What I didn’t see in The Columbian’s report is whether the government will get a free pass for polluting the river with oil. Will anyone fine the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that operates the dam? What is the Army Corps doing to stop oil spills at Bonneville and other dams?

Kite boarding season is about to start. They better get their act together so that oil sheens don’t steal one of the greatest adventures in our backyard.

Jonathan Graca

Hood River, Ore.