Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pres. Obama Greeted in Seattle by a 25-foot Salmon

Last Sunday, September 25th, President Obama visited Washington State on a very brief fundraising trip lasting mere hours that included stops at a private home in Medina and the Paramount Theater in Seattle. Because Presidential visits are rare occurrences in Seattle (his last visit was in 2009), we thought we would use the occasion to send President Obama a special message regarding salmon and jobs in the Northwest.

Last week’s Elwha river restoration festivities highlighted just one of the opportunities we have in the region to collaborate, protect and restore our natural resources in ways that create jobs and economic activity. As the nation’s largest dam removal effort ever, the story of the Elwha reflects positive momentum forward as we look at other restoration efforts, including on the lower Snake River.

Restoring rivers not only saves critical salmon and steelhead, but, done right, can also rebuild and recapture thousands of long-term jobs (and generate billions of dollars in economic activity). As we work to set an example for the nation with the Elwha and other rivers in need of restoration, these issues deserve the President’s attention.

So in an effort to capture President Obama’s attention, we decided to drive around Seattle near the Paramount Theater with our friend “Fin,” a 25-foot metal salmon sculpture on a trailer. She’s eye-catching, for sure.

Save Our wild Salmon Outreach Director Joseph Bogaard maneuvered Fin through the crowd-packed streets of Seattle. Joining him was Jeremy Brown, a salmon fisherman and board member of the Washington Trollers Association to talk about why salmon mean jobs, and why our President should care.

Said Jeremy outside the Paramount, “Restoring the Elwha River demonstrates that when communities work together, we are capable of achieving great things. Recovering Elwha River salmon means more fishing and more food. These are important benefits to local communities, as well as the obvious benefits to local wildlife too."

Added Joseph, “The President really needs to seize this opportunity to push forward on salmon restoration and jobs creation via collaborative, science-driven process now in the Columbia and Snake River Basin."

Image courtesy of Seattle Times

All other images courtesy of Noah Dolan/Save Our wild Salmon

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