Make the Salish Sea/Puget Sound a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area

  • by: Friends of the San Juans
  • recipient: President Barack Obama, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Rick Larsen, Rep. Derek Kilmer, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Denny Heck, Senator Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, The Honorable Hunter Tootoo Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, a

The Salish Sea in the Pacific Northwest, connecting Washington's Puget Sound and British Columbia's Georgia Strait, is one of the world’s largest and most biologically rich inland seas. It is home to over 7 million people including over 50 First Nations and Tribes, and is threatened by a proposed 43% increase in commercial marine vessel traffic, including oil and coal transport.

This international waterbody includes Washington State’s Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the San Juan and Gulf Islands and is home to endangered and threatened orca whales, marbled murrelet seabirds, and Chinook salmon. A major spill from just one of the thousands of commercial ships transiting these waters could devastate our ecology, culture, and economy.

The best protection against the dangers associated with increased global shipping comes from greater awareness of this area through designation as a PSSA. A PSSA designation would allow indigenous, non-governmental, and governmental groups from both the United States and Canada to work cooperatively for the good of the entire Salish Sea. With our waterways already crowded and intense increases in international shipping traffic proposed, a PSSA designation will be the first notice to international mariners that they are entering an area of global importance, synchronize voluntary and regulatory standards of care, ensure best practices in shipping, and protect our most important areas. There are currently 14 PSSAs in the world. Sign on to make the Salish Sea the 15th, and protect this vulnerable region!

Check out our Safe Passage in the Salish Sea video to learn more about the impacts of international shipping on the Salish Sea's environment, economy, and culture. 

**photo by Chris Teren**

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