Magazine article E Magazine

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Magazine article E Magazine

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IT ALL CAME TUMBLING DOWN

For the first time in 160 years, the Kennebec River is flowing freely again. At 9:06 a.m. on July 1, the Edwards Dam in Augusta, Maine was breached, clearing the way for 10 species of migratory fish--including endangered shortnose sturgeon and Atlantic salmon--to reach spawning grounds upstream for the first time since 1837 (see "Damning the Dam," In Brief, March/April 1998). The hydroelectric dam, which only provided one tenth of one percent of Maine's electricity, will be completely dismantled by Thanksgiving.

The 17 miles of newly freed river will provide benefits for people as well as fish: canoeists and kayakers will soon be able to tackle a new stretch of Class II rapids and, according to a 1991 study, the increase in sport fishing alone will boost the local economy by $48 million. Other dams slated for eventual decommissioning include the Elwha Dam in Washington, the Stronach Dam in Michigan and the Pine Dam in Wisconsin. CONTACT: Natural Resources Council of Maine, 3 Wade Street, Augusta, ME 04330-6315/(207)622-3101.

--April Reese

BIG MAC ATTACK ON GE FOOD

Sparked by public pressure in Europe against genetically engineered (GE) food, McDonald's 2.5 million British customers will soon be eating GE-free. They won't be alone. The world's largest food manufacturer, Unilever, is one of seven major international food retailers eliminating GE ingredients from their brand-name products. Demand for non-GE food may force American agriculture to shape up or be left out (see "The Biotech Century," cover story, May/June 1998). …

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