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Toxic Algae Bloom in Detroit Lake
Both the Oregonian and the Statesman Journal are reporting that a toxic algae bloom has been found on Detroit Lake on the North Santiam River. The river is, of course, the source of Salem’s water, but the Public Works Department has found no evidence of toxins at the water intake point. They will be monitoring the situation closely. The lake is likely unusually warm for the season, as it is running only about 39% of normal levels, in light of the current drought. Visitors to the lake are warned against contact with the water. Additional cautions apply to fish from the lake or exposure to inhaling water sprayed by fast-moving boats. The stories can be found here: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2015/05/15/toxic-algae-detected-detroit-lake/27415569/

Fight Brewing Over New Dam Near Silverton
A proposed dam and reservoir on Drift Creek, a tributary to the Pudding River, is creating controversy between farming groups, while also generating concern in the conservation community. It’s a tangled tale, with a water district trying to use eminent domain, outside the district’s boundaries, to claim land that has been held by farm families for generation upon generation. Drift Creek is also said to be home to Coho salmon and lamprey. It would seem the 21st Century water wars have commenced, right here in the greater Willamette Valley. The Oregonian covers the story: http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2015/05/farmer_v_farmer_future_of_oreg.html#incart_river

Arctic the Focus of Drilling Protests and New Pollution Rules
Even as the Shell Oil Company faces protests by kayakers and other boaters for their apparently unpermitted parking in Seattle of huge oil drilling rigs headed for the arctic, the International Maritime Organization has passed new rules to prevent pollution in the arctic, but they don’t take effect until 2017. Conservation groups stress the need for strong protections, as it is expected the loss of polar ice will increase traffic in the region, with new routes opening up. The Oregonian has the first story: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/05/seattle_protesters_plan_shell.html#incart_river
And the BBC has the second: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32756119