Siskiyou Land Conservancy
Protecting California’s Wild North Coast and Rivers Since 2004

The First Study — Ever — of the Impacts of Pesticides at the Smith River Estuary

In 2002 the Smith River Project, predecessor of Siskiyou Land Conservancy, commissioned the Center for Ethics and Toxics to conduct an evaluation of the extent of pesticide use by Easter lily farmers on bottom lands surrounding the Smith River estuary. CETOS also set out to analyze the potential impacts of these pesticides on the biological health of the estuary and surrounding habitat.

What CETOS found was shocking: That the lily growers’ pesticide use was clearly impacting the ecology of the Smith River estuary, and that they were using two highly toxic fumigants — 1,3-dichloropropene and metam sodium — in pounds-per-acre amounts that were higher than anywhere else in California, which is really saying something.

Since release of the report, lily growers have more than doubled their use of these two chemicals. Both metam sodium and 1,3-dichloropropene are powerful carcinogens and are deadly to aquatic species.

Read the full report here.