VOICES OF The Inside passage

 

Spanning two countries, the Inside Passage is a place where a multitude of species are at extreme risk…

 

Current policies embrace large scale “open pit” copper and gold mines, and pipelines that threaten the health of these waters

 

 

 

 

 

Our Goals

 

Thank all of you who have donated, so far, to have the story of enviornmental issues within the Pacific Northwest brought to light. It is now time to move into Phase 2.  

Now that “Voices of the Inside Passage” is in the midst of its social media campaign, we are realizing that this issue is firmly grabbing peoples attention. While Susu and I were in British Columbia and Southeast Alaska producing this series, we became painfully aware that this issue runs much deeper than we originally anticipated.  We now understand this is a global issue with a multitude of interconnected webs.  There is much more story to be told.  

We would now like go to the next level.  What this means is that we would like to create a documentary that delves much deeper.  Our goal is to explore the science behind what you have seen.  We would like to talk to the mining industry, scientists, world markets, and global consumers.  We all know that mining and harvesting of resourses is inevitable, however open discussions and extraction regulations must be put into place.  With your donation we can achieve this goal.     

The Project

Salmon.  Yes, they are just fish, but if you know only one thing past that they taste good at dinner, they are integral to the ecosystem. Each year they return to their spawning grounds to give birth to the next generation.  Salmon travel hundreds of miles, most often, to the exact spot they were born. Pacific salmon are a keystone species and support bears, birds and many other species.

 

It’s all a part of a delicate ecosystem. Simplistically, salmon spawn, bears and eagles eat the old and dying fish, the waste of the fish provide nutrients (nitrogen, carbon, sulfur, phosphorus) to the other species that live in the water and even forests.

The health of the water is paramount for all species in the waterways of the Inside Passage, including the whales that return to its cold waters each year for the abundant food source. What will happen now that the food source is diminishing? You can see how it quickly cascades.

 

These transboundary waters are now threatened with tailings and acid waste from “open pit” copper and gold mining.  Are profits of major corporations more important than the future of our environment? Your generous donation will help to tell this story and bring awareness to this undeniable issue.

Please help fund this very important project.  Any little bit help.

The Issues

Issues Relating to Food Sovereignty

The inside passage is a serpentine nutrient rich waterway beginning in the incredibly rich waters of Southeast Alaska then circuitously winding through the supernatural waterways of British Columbia and spilling into the Salish Sea of Washington. It is a transportation system of nutrients for life, both benthic and terrestrial as they are unequivocally woven together in the circle of life.

“…what if I told you that the trees are here, in part, because of the salmon? That the trees that shelter and feed the fish, that help build the fish, are themselves built by the fish.” Carl Safina

The Southeast Alaska to British Columbia Issue

Known as the “transboundary” issues many of the rivers and waterways of Alaska, B.C. and Washington are affected by the large scale “open pit” copper and gold mines as well as pipeline spills. The “transboundary rivers”, Southeast, Alaska’s major salmon-producing rivers begin in British Columbia and flow across the international border into Alaska’s Inside Passage. The rivers support the eco-system that have sustained the First Nations and other peoples for thousands of years, and support culture, ways of life and a viable economy today.

These rivers feed into the inside waters and their nutrients and pollutants are deposited into the sea which then surges its waters into estuaries and up rivers by tidal action. So not only the seas benthic flora and fauna are affected but also anywhere the sea meets the land. The Tongass National Forest is our nations largest forest and in combination with B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest is the largest temperate rainforest in the world. The Tongass is home to many species who rely on a diverse forest and clean water, both from rain and from tidal action. It is still a mostly intact ecosystem, but faces many threats from climate change and public extraction policy.

Unfortunately, the types of mines proposed and those already in place in B.C and S.E. Alaska are known to pollute rivers and harm salmon and other flora and fauna. Local communities’ drinking and fishing waters have been contaminated and and heavy metals remain in the water and soil to this day. Those metals migrate through the watersheds affecting species on land and sea, many times resulting in disease and death.

The British Columbia to Salish Sea Issues

The latest threat to the B.C. coast are the pipelines transecting land and water, the Enbridge from Alberta to the Great Bear Rainforest (currently shelved) and Kinder Morgan Trans mountain pipeline expansion project which plans to transport tar sands oil through the Salish Sea-home to a wide range of coastal species, including critical habitat for the endangered southern resident killer whales.

Your support in being a part of a collage of written and graphic journalistic documentation of the Inside Passages bounty and its threats from Climate Change and the Extraction policies from both Canada and the US is appreciated.

Please help to protect these lands and waters that sustain us all, from the plankton soup created from terrestrial watersheds and ocean nutrients to the Salmon to the mighty Sitka Spruce of the Tongass and of course for the people.

More to come