For 20 years, Salmon-Safe has focused on protecting native salmon and water quality. We’re a science-based certification organization. We’ve worked with scientists, farmers, urban developers, and many others to reduce downstream impacts on our West Coast salmon watersheds. Salmon-Safe believes watersheds that are healthy for salmon are healthy for people—for all people.
There have been voices missing in our work. Focused on salmon, we haven’t brought the same intention that we bring to protecting rivers and streams to how certain human communities, and particularly communities of color, are disproportionally impacted by pollution, habitat destruction, and racial injustice.
The death of George Floyd and too many others by police is a call to action for Salmon-Safe to step up to find meaningful ways as a conservation nonprofit to take on systemic racism and unjust acts of institutional violence. It’s a call to action for Salmon-Safe to become deeply aware of ways to act justly while we focus on recovering imperiled Pacific salmon, one of the great ecological challenges of our time.
With the generous support of Meyer Memorial Trust, Salmon-Safe last year embarked on a 12-month effort with our board and staff to assess our individual internal biases and find ways to incorporate a new commitment to equality in our programs. We’ve been taking action over months now to retool our work towards meaningful engagement with affordable housing projects and to find new ways to advance the conservation initiatives of Northwest tribal governments, as the original and enduring champions for keeping salmon safe for future generations, in their salmon recovery efforts.
Now we’re committed to do more. Even as we remain an environmental certification organization that focuses on reducing watershed impacts, we vow to advocate for programs and approaches that aren’t just meeting an equity baseline but are actively anti-racist. And we pledge to encourage our fellow conservation community members to do the same.
How do we turn intention to action? Even beyond our ongoing effort to bring new perspectives to our work and reach new audiences, we hope to learn and be inspired by you and others to do more. We would love to hear your ideas.