It was an exciting fall on the Columbia River’s Hanford Reach for salmon anglers and HanfordLearning.org staffers alike. Anglers caught record numbers of Chinook, sockeye, and coho salmon on The Reach in 2014, and HanfordLearning.org caught lots of the action on film for an upcoming video chronicling the importance of Hanford Reach salmon to local communities.
Creating educational media like original videos, interviews, and this website are part of what HanfordLearning.org does, but our primary objective involves working directly with teachers and students to create compelling learning experiences focused around the Hanford Site and the Columbia River.
Whether you’re a teacher, parent, or student, you can help HanfordLearning.org educate youths about the Hanford Nuclear Site and the nearby Columbia River fishery for a chance to win two seats on a 2015 salmon fishing trip and tour of the Hanford Reach National Monument with HanfordLearning staff and TJ Hester of Hester’s Sportfishing.
If you’re a teacher, a middle-school through university-level student, or a parent interested in getting your student(s) involved, please team up with HanfordLearning.org to complete educational, non-partisan student projects focused on the Columbia River and the government cleanup of nuclear waste north of the Tri-Cities in Washington. Our skilled staff is ready to engage learners from any discipline or academic level in interactive presentations, service-learning projects, or custom projects tailored to meet instructors’ needs. Our goal is always to increase student learning, meet teachers’ stated educational objectives, and reduce teachers’ workloads.
The Reach is the last remaining free-flowing stretch of the Columbia River in the United States, and it borders 586 square miles of federal land that hold two-thirds of the nation’s defense-related nuclear waste. This popular 50-mile fishing destination is critically important habitat for salmon and steelhead and remains clean, viable spawning habitat thanks to the prioritized cleanup of the contaminated sites at Hanford that posed the most risk to the river. Although significant threats to the Columbia River still exist and are being remediated, remarkable progress has been made to halt the flow of pollution to the river from the Site. But there is much more work to be done.
The cleanup of thousands of contaminated buildings, over 40 linear miles of buried solid waste, and 56 million gallons of radioactive waste stored underground in tanks will last for at least the next 70 years. The cleanup will continue to drive the local economy for decades while ensuring cleanup. Educating today’s youths about Hanford’s history and cleanup helps ensure that the next generation can actively participate in Site management decisions and continue catching healthy Hanford Reach salmon.
If you’re a teacher or are a student or parent who wants to educate one or a group of students about the Hanford Reach and its beauty and challenges with free help from HanfordLearning.org, please contact outreach and service-learning specialist Erika Holmes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You just might find yourself and a guest fishing the Columbia for free for saying yes!