Advocates Call For Environmental Restoration During The “Hanford Journey”
As the Hanford cleanup budget has been reduced in past years, indigenous and environmentalists are demanding environmental restoration and protection for the people that rely on the Columbia River.
Last Friday in Mattawa Davis Washines participated in “Hanford Journey.” He is the Yakama Nations Government Relations Liaison, and spoke on the long history of the indigenous communities’ relationship with the river.
“We’ve come here today to recognize the work that what you call this Hanford Nuclear reservation… There’s a history to this area… our history lane talks about the history and the places that our people the important places that we have a duty, a responsibility to protect. Because you see all the children that are here, they represent the future… It belongs to them,” says Washines.
People called for the federal government to fulfill its obligations to the communities and support the state in the same way Washington supported the country during the war.
Laura Watson, Director of the Washington Department of Ecology, says more resources are necessary.
“We cannot let the federal government shortchange this obligation, and we get that is an expensive obligation. It is three and a half billion dollars a year. Right now, we’re getting about two and a half billion a year from the federal government. So right now the federal government is shortchanging by about a billion dollars a year for us to be able to get the site cleaned up,” says Watson.
The event was hosted by the Yakama Nation Environmental Restoration Waste Management (ERWM) Program, and Columbia Riverkeeper.