FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Iconic northwest companies commit to bringing back our most iconic species | Aerospace giant The Boeing Company and philanthropist Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. commit to the recovery of northwest salmon by putting their support behind Long Live the Kings.
Seattle—In gifts announced earlier this year, Boeing and Vulcan are supporting Long Live the Kings’ groundbreaking international initiative, the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project. The effort—which spans the US/Canada border and encompasses more than 100 research sites and 150 field scientists—aims to improve understanding about why salmon are not surviving in the shared marine waters of Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia.
“Salmon are an indicator species: their vitality signals the future of our wildlife, our waters, and our own health and prosperity,” said Jacques White, Long Live the Kings Executive Director. “But despite major investments in habitat, in hatchery improvements and harvest reductions, the fact remains that, for over 30 years, salmon have experienced very high mortality in saltwater. Resource managers have long acknowledged that unless we can better understand and address the reasons for this low survival, our other investments may be in vain.”
The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project is the largest of its kind, bringing together over 60 State and Federal agencies, Tribes, nonprofits, universities, and community organizations to focus their collaborative resources on getting to the bottom of salmon mortality in the Salish Sea. It is the first time that a single project has leveraged talent, infrastructure, and funds across multiple jurisdictions and authorities to understand what is happening to our fish as they enter our shared marine waters and to identify the solutions needed to solve the problem of low survival.
“Supporting this salmon survival project fits with our belief that research and data are foundational to effective conservation efforts,” said Dr. Raechel Waters, senior program officer for ocean health at Vulcan. “We also value the opportunity to support ocean health work right here in our own backyard.”
Outcomes from the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project will be essential to increasing the survival of salmon and steelhead, improving the accuracy of return forecasting to facilitate smarter management of fisheries, advancing scientific understanding of salmon and their ecosystem, and driving informed actions to improve the health of the marine environment.
“Boeing has demonstrated its commitment to the health of Puget Sound’s waterways and surrounding communities by investing in cleanup activities and habitat restoration for many years,” said Bill McSherry, vice president of Government Operations at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are proud to be working with Long Live the Kings and other environmental leaders at the forefront of finding new and better ways to enhance the environmental stewardship of the Puget Sound region.”
Funds contributed from Boeing and Vulcan Inc. ($500,000 and $750,000 respectively), will be essential over the next several years, as Long Live the Kings and partners work to continue cutting edge field research in dozens of locations in the US and Canada; to document and communicate their findings to the scientific community, the press, and the public; and to translate those findings into tangible management tools.
“Funding from prominent economic leaders like Boeing and Vulcan Inc.—and the quality of the science that support is enabling,” said White, “illustrates what can happen when our community joins together to apply our thinking and our resources toward solving a problem that impacts us all.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Natasha Dworkin | Matterhorn Creative | 206.715.1696
*High resolution field research photos available upon request.