Secretary Salazar Presents Coast Salish-USGS Water Quality Project with Partners in Conservation Award


Contact: Joan Moody
(202) 208-6416

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today presented a Partners in Conservation Award to the Coast Salish-USGS Tribal Journey Water Quality Project for their work in the Salish Sea, Puget Sound and Georgia Basin.

It was one of 26 national awards to individuals and organizations presented at a ceremony at Interior headquarters in Washington, D.C. to honor “those who achieve natural resource goals in collaboration and partnership with others.”

The 26 Partners in Conservation Awards recognize conservation achievements resulting from the cooperation and participation of a total of 600 individuals and organizations including landowners; citizens’ groups; private sector and nongovernmental organizations; and federal, state, local, and/or tribal governments.

“The Partners in Conservation Awards demonstrate that our greatest conservation legacies often emerge when stakeholders, agencies, and citizens from a wide range of backgrounds come together to address shared challenges,” the Secretary said. “The U.S. Geological Survey teamed up with the Coast Salish Nation to use a traditional annual canoe journey to help in efforts to study water quality and improve coastal marine resources. This is a most symbolic partnership because salmon are more than food to the Coast Salish. The salmon is integral to their cultural identity; in fact, their annual calendar of events, subsistence and cultural rituals revolve around the life history of the salmon.”

Each year, Coast Salish families paddle hundreds of miles by canoe to a common destination to celebrate their heritage. In 2008, with the aid of trained water quality technicians and USGS scientists, the families towed water quality probes along a number of their pathways and provided the data in real time to USGS. The study spanned international borders, cultures, science disciplines and interest groups. In its first year, the effort generated more than 42,000 water-quality data points along 570 miles of ancestral waterways.
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“These 26 awards recognize the dedicated efforts of 600 people from all walks of life, from across our nation– and from across our borders with Canada and Mexico,” Salazar noted. “They celebrate partnerships that conserve and restore our nation’s treasured landscapes and watersheds, partnerships that engage Native American communities, and partnerships that engage youth.”

The following individuals from USGS and tribal representatives shared the Coastal Salish-
USGS Tribal Journey Water Quality award. They were nominated by Cynthia
Barton, Director of the USGS Washington Water Science Center in Tacoma, Washington.


Coast Salish Gathering Steering Committee
Ray Harris
Debra Lekanof
Homalco Nation
Darren Blaney
Skokomish Indian Tribe
Michael Pavel
Squaxin Island Tribe
Jeremiah George
Joe Seymour
Stolo Nation
Keith Point
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
Sarah Akin
Brian Cladoosby
Eric Day
Tiffany Hoyopatubbi
Charles O’Hara
Tara Tisdale
U.S. Geological Survey
Don Becker
John Clemens
Eric Grossman
Ray Julich
Jennifer LaVista
Susan Marcus
Paul Schuster
Clinton Charlie, Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group
Jon Waterhouse, Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council