A Message From Our Board President, Larry Mellum

As the owner of 2 seafood restaurants in Seattle, my eyes have been opened to how much this region—the Puget Sound, our Salish Sea—means to me. The seafood that comes from these waters has given us everything, and now the Salish Sea needs a return on its investment, it needs our help.

Over the decades that I have lived here, I’ve seen our population in the Northwest grow exponentially. This growth and the industrial development that has come with it has significantly impacted the pristine waters and the sea creatures that call the Salish Sea home.

Our southern resident orcas are starving because the salmon population they rely upon for food is in sharp decline. Our salmon population is in decline due to overfishing, salmon habitat degradation, dams blocking salmon passageway, and forage fish that they feed on are nowhere to be found. The list goes on.

A few years ago, I met Riley Starks, our Executive Director, and I joined him in his work to revive the Salish Sea:

  • Highlighting the salmon, halibut and shellfish, that is sustainably harvested here, with our Salish Sea Certified medallions.
  • Working with organizations to fund habitat protection and restoration for our salmon, and the forage fish the salmon depends on for its own survival.
  • Working on CO-2 sequestration through seaweed farming.

When I met Riley, he told me that all is not lost yet. Through strong political will and good management practices we have a history of being able to bring things back from the brink. We can do the same with salmon and in doing so recreate a sustainable salmon fishery that will support the survival of our southern resident orcas and our vibrant Salish Sea.