Hundreds gather to protect the Salish Sea

Currently at profound risk from multiple fossil fuel projects, existing pollution, warming waters, and ocean acidification, the Salish Sea is experiencing plummeting salmon populations and starving orcas. Photo courtesy of 350 Seattle

On Sept. 15., hundreds of community members gathered in 31 locations around the region to celebrate our interdependence with the Salish Sea. Currently at profound risk from multiple fossil fuel projects, existing pollution, warming waters, and ocean acidification, the Salish Sea is experiencing plummeting salmon populations and starving orcas – so from Vancouver BC to Olympia, 31 events on both sides of the border advocated for protection for the bioregion.

At Smith Cove in Seattle, Ken Workman (the great-great-great-great grandson of Chief Seattle), said, “When you learn what’s going on with the climate and land, you come to a fork in the road because you can never unknow what you’ve learned. The work we’re doing here today is important for the health of the Salish Sea. It’s important for Mother Earth that we stand upon, and it’s important for this particular area of the land of the inside people.”

“In the 163 years that settlers have occupied this land, we have seen the nearly complete decimation of land and sea creatures in the Salish Sea bioregion,” said Pamela Cəlálakəm Bond (Snohomish). “Those most affected are the killer whales and salmon – an indicator the health of all the other species. Fossil fuel projects and corporations of all kinds contribute to pollution, to climate change and ocean acidification. Our own sewers empty into the water, along with pesticides and fertilizers. What we do to the water, we do to the land, we do to the people.”

Sponsors: Protectors of the Salish Sea, Red Line Salish Sea, 350 Seattle, 350 Tacoma, Sierra Club-WA State Chapter, RAVEN Trust, Endangered Species, STAND, Georgia Strait Alliance, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Cascadia Now!