For Immediate Release October 5, 2017
Remembering Our Friends, Thanksgiving Weekend
All Creatures Great & Small Need Protection In The Salish Sea
Let’s Celebrate Canada’s 200th Birthday By What We Do Today!
[CEDAR, BC] – “It’s 2017, and there’s no protection for our cultural and natural heritage in the Salish Sea,” says Laurie Gourlay. “Our federal and provincial governments need to step up to the plate or there won’t be much left to celebrate for Canada’s 200th Birthday.”
‘Thanks, giving, and remembering our friends in the Salish Sea’ is the message the Salish Sea Trust is sending out to it’s 15,000 supporters this Thanksgiving Weekend. The Trust states that there are some 3000 species in the Salish Sea, and 113 of them are threatened. “We’re calling for a World Heritage Site designation that would put cultural and natural protections in place to ensure all our ocean friends are still here on Canada’s 200th Birthday.”
“All creatures great and small need protection in the Salish Sea,” says Laurie Gourlay, Interim Director of this non-profit organization. “And we’re inviting Canadians to sign our on-line House of Commons Petition to show their support for our ocean and inter-tidal friends.”
In late September the Salish Sea Trust had a Petition posted on Parliament’s website, to encourage Members of Parliament to take initiatives that would protect the Salish Sea, as well as begin a 6-10 year process that would have it recognized as a World Heritage Site.* E-Petition 1269 is sponsored by MP Rachel Blaney, MP for North Island-Powell River.
“The mid and north coasts of British Columbia have cultural and natural protections, with indigenous partnerships in place under the MaPP and GBR agreements of 2016,”** Gourlay notes. “But there’s no such protection for the south coast and Salish Sea. We think there should be.”
The Salish Sea World Heritage Site proposal offers a means to address many cross-sectoral issues, as well as being a tool in the toolbox as federal and provincial decisions are taken with respect to ocean health and management, indigenous interests and regional prosperity.
“This is one of those moments when a region’s future will be determined,” states Gourlay. “Our governments have a chance to be on the side of sustainability, ocean health and protection, and the furtherance of indigenous rights and interests. Support of a Salish Sea World Heritage site proposal would ensure that options remain open and a process is in play as climate change, business interests, and an ever-increasing population settles in and around the Salish Sea.”
The Salish Sea Trust is encouraging its supporters to contact their elected representatives and encourage support for cultural and natural protections that should be in place in the Salish Sea and south coast of B.C. “At the very least we would urge all Canadians who care about our ocean friends to give a little of themselves this Thanksgiving weekend by personally signing House of Commons Petition E-1269,” Gourlay adds.
The Salish Sea Trust submitted its application to have the Salish Sea recognized as a World Heritage Site last May, including letters and signatures of 15,000 individuals who agree. The decision for ten new Canadian sites will be announced by the Prime Minister in December.
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*Similar cultural and natural heritage processes and indigenous partnerships are in place in the mid and north BC Coasts – under the Marine Area Partnership Plan, and Great Bear Rainforest agreements of 2016. Why not the Salish Sea in 2017?
**A copy of House of Commons Salish Sea Petition E-1269 can be found at: (https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-1269)
Salish Sea Trust, Box 333, Cedar, B.C., V9X 1W1
250.722.3444, <firstname.lastname@example.org> (www.salishseatrust.ca)