The Big Picture
In the Northwest we have an abundance of beautiful streams and rivers. They are inspiring to look at, relaxing to fish in, and fun to explore. They can be used for agriculture, recreation, and learning. Healthy natural streams can be home to many types of fish as well as salamanders, crayfish, beavers and many interesting insects.
When streams in cities or rural areas are not cared for, polluted or developed, we lose many valuable natural resources. Fewer kinds of fish and wildlife can live in degraded water, and too much contact with polluted water can make living things sick. Even the insects are affected! In fact, biologists can look at the aquatic insects that live in streams and uncover clues about the health of the stream for other kinds of life. Why? Because water bugs are a part of an aquatic food web.
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