Audubon Statement on Animas River Contamination:

Long-term effects will be felt for decades to come

Audubon New Mexico released the following statement today in response to the news that 3 million gallons of contaminated waste water was released in to the Animas River from the Gold King Mine:

“Riparian-dependent plants and animals cannot avoid the oncoming disaster,” said Sharon Wirth, Audubon’s Freshwater Program Manager who has 15 years’ experience in ecological risk assessment of water and sediment contamination. “The contamination in the river can be deadly to birds and other consumers as the metals bioaccumulate in the food chain. We will likely be witnessing the long-term, negative effects of this spill for decades to come, the full extent of which is still a big unknown. This spill highlights the vulnerability of our river ecosystems and communities that depend on healthy rivers and the very real risks they face when that health is imperiled. Audubon will be working to make sure that all necessary steps are taken to protect human health, wildlife and the environment.”


Audubon New Mexico: As the state office of the National Audubon Society, Audubon New Mexico’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity. 

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