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Rogue at Grants Pass
Rogue River at Grants Pass, Photo by Finetooth, CC 3 via Wikimedia

Note especially: “A major concern for water quality is waste discharges and the re-suspension of sediments that are contaminated“. These could include mercury, as in the Rogue River Oregon case, lead, as well as radionuclides such as plutonium from fallout or other sources, depending on location. Suction dredge mining for gold is being done both on and offshore, in Alaska, for instance. Alaska is an area that received historic nuclear fallout, which would still be in sediments. Like mercury and lead, radionuclides, such as plutonium, bioaccumulate “in the food chain of aquatic organisms, terrestrial wildlife and ultimately humans“.
Sucking up our Streams WWW.ROGUERIVERKEEPER.ORG, p. 1Sucking up our Streams WWW.ROGUERIVERKEEPER.ORG, p. 2

For more information and how you can help see: http://rogueriverkeeper.org/what-we-do/hot-topics/impacts-of-suction-dredging-on-rivers-fish-and-aquatic-communities