Protect Sacred Lummi Lands From Dirty Coal

  • By: Susan V
  • Target: Whatcom County WA and US Army Corp of Engineers

Cherry Point in Washington State could end up as the site of the largest coal exporting facility in North America. But not if the Lummi Nation can help it.

The Lummi people have a history of opposing development of their cultural, historic and spiritual land. Known to them by its ancestral name, Xwe’chi’eXen was the first listing on the state’s Heritage Register and, for over 175 generations, an ancestral fishing village on the Salish Sea. It’s also associated with the creation story of the Lummi people.

But SSA Marine of Seattle seeks to turn this sacred site into a dumping ground and port for shipping trainloads of coal from the Midwest to Asia.

The Lummi believe the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples allows them to maintain and protect their archaeological and historic sites.

Tell Whatcom County and US Army Corps of Engineers to protect Lummi Lands and the Salish Sea from dirty coal.

We, the undersigned, ask, in addition to preventing the environmental destruction posed by the proposed GTF Port at Cherry Point, the US Government honor the UN Declaration that allows the Lummi Nation to prevent development of their sacred land.

The Lummi Nation has compiled a report of "Key Facts", which elaborates on a long list of environmental and cultural concerns surrounding this proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, as well as the mining and transporting of coal from the midwest associated with the project.

These concerns are summed up on the Lummi Nation website as follows:

There is evidence to support that local jobs and businesses, property values, human health and quality of life would be adversely impacted by the coal trains. Increased marine traffic and the coal terminal would affect fisheries, marine ecosystems, and air quality. Further, substantial taxpayer investment may be required to support infrastructure required by the project and to mitigate some of the potential negative effects. There are questions as to whether damages to local businesses, regional identity, communities and fisheries could ever be adequately mitigated. The global impacts of coal export and coal combustion are significant, particularly when the future is considered.

We ask all those involved in deciding the fate of this sacred site to take all of these and other concerns that may come up in the future under serious consideration and protect this sacred land as well as humans, wildlife and the environment from the impact of coal transport and export.

Please do not allow the US Government to further infringe upon the rights of the Lummi People.

Thank you for your time.

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