Water protectors say a proposed salmon farm in Williams County threatens drinking water
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Toledo Lucas County Port Authority board has approved a $400 million bond for a salmon fishing facility in Williams County, but many locals are not happy with the decision. A group of advocates attended a Port Authority board meeting Thursday morning to talk about how they believe this facility could harm drinking water.
The AquaBounty facility will be allowed to take more than five million gallons of water per day out of the Michindoh Aquifer, a large freshwater source. The water will then be dumped back into the St. Joseph River. Those two sources provide drinking water for thousands of people.
Sherry Fleming is the chair person of the Williams County Alliance and says this is a huge concern for her community.
“Fresh water is such a critical, essential resource for survival for all life,” says Fleming. “They state that AquaBounty is a state-of-the-art facility and we expected more recycling of the water.”
The facility will be built in Pioneer, Ohio and around 10,000 metric tons of genetically modified salmon could be produced yearly.
“If the genetically engineered salmon were to escape from the facility, the St. Joseph hooks into the Maumee River and is a direct conduit into Lake Erie, so it could be devastating to the eco-system of Lake Erie,” says Fleming.
According to Fleming there is not much else the Williams County Alliance and other Lake Erie advocates can do besides speak up to the people in charge.
“Even though we’re aware that the Toledo Port Authority has already approved the bond money, we feel that they need to hear our story of how this project could impact our area and even into Toledo and the Great Lakes,” says Fleming.
To show their seriousness, the water protectors had a protest after speaking at the board meeting.
13abc has reached out to AquaBounty for a comment but they have yet to respond.
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