Submitted by The Samish Indian Nation
The Samish Indian Nation announced on Wednesday, Aug. 30 that its map tracking marine debris clean up in the tribe’s traditional territory has been honored with a second place award in the 2017 Esri Storytelling with Maps Contest.
The map was created using geographic information systems (GIS) technologies by Casey Palmer-McGee, GIS/Database Analyst. It depicts the Samish Indian Nation’s Traditional Territory and efforts by the tribe’s Department of Natural Resources over the past three years to remove more than 400,000 pounds of creosote treated wood and other marine debris from public and private shorelines.
“The Samish people have been stewards of the environment in the San Juan Archipelago for hundreds of generations,” said Tom Wooten, chairman, Samish Indian Nation. “Creosote wood and marine debris represent a big impact on the marine fish and wildlife that exist in our traditional territory. We are proud of the removal work by our Department of Natural Resources, with partners, to remove extensive amounts of debris. The map created by Casey is an ongoing survey and display of that work and we are honored by this designation from Esri.”
Restoration work was done in partnership with the Samish Indian Nation Department of Natural Resources, with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington Conservation Corps, Veterans Conservation Corps and Earthcorps.
Moving forward, the Samish Indian Nation and its partners plan to continue with creosote and marine debris assessment and clean up. There is still a lot of territory to cover, and often, marine debris washes up on the same beaches every year. The Samish Indian Nation is committed to continuing the removal of toxins from our Traditional Territory so that the Samish People will be able to continue utilizing the bountiful natural resources of the Salish Sea that is central to our cultural identity.