A grant awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency to the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission is funding a grassroots media campaign that accuses farmers of polluting water. The services of a Seattle public relations firm, Strategies 360, have been deployed for the campaign, which includes two billboards and a website (http://whatsupstream.com). Although the EPA grant is directed at the commission, several environmental groups and the Swinomish Indian tribe in Olympia and Bellingham, Washington, are running the grassroots advocacy campaign. 
The website directs the public to contact state lawmakers and provides a pre-written email criticizing the actions of farmers and blaming them for polluting local waterways. 
Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, recently sent a letter to Arthur A. Elkins, Jr., the inspector general of the EPA, about this issue. In the letter, the chairmen request an audit and investigation of the EPA grant and its financial support of the anti-farmer advocacy campaign in Washington state.
News release