The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Climate Change Project has been awarded the National Climate Adaptation Leadership Award. The Swinomish Tribe is a community of Coast Salish peoples descended from groups and bands originating from the Skagit and Samish River valleys, coastal areas surrounding nearby bays and waters, and numerous islands including Fidalgo, Camano, Whidbey and the San Juan Islands residing today in Cascadia’s Puget Sound region.
The new award recognizes the outstanding leadership by organizations and individuals who develop innovative approaches to prevent changes that are affecting valuable wildlife and natural resources. The award was established as part of the Obama Administration’s Priority Agenda for Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America’s Natural Resources, which identifies key actions across the federal government to support resilience of America’s vital natural resources and the many people, businesses and communities that depend on them. The award is sponsored by the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plant Climate Adaptation Strategy’s Joint Implementation Working Group in partnership with the Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Resource Conservation Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service, and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
“Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing our natural resources and the communities that depend on them,” said Michael Bean, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. “These recipients are using innovative tools right now to combat this global threat. Their leadership advances smart conservation and resource management approaches that will increase the resilience of our natural resources for our communities and economies.”
The recipients’ projects were selected from 47 nominations based on a criteria of effectiveness, innovative approach, high potential for replication, promotion of preparation and response, and collaboration. More information about the Swinomish Tribe’s project is available in a 2015 article from NW Climate Science Magazine.