Western Washington University launched the Salish Sea Institute in the fall of 2015 in response to an unmet need for ongoing dialogue and action regarding the health of the Salish Sea. A diverse group of concerned citizens and individuals identified this critical gap, including representatives of tribes and First Nations and numerous institutions and organizations in Washington State and British Columbia.
The Salish Sea Institute addresses this need for ongoing and respectful dialogue and action by providing a structure for scholarly collaboration across boundaries of culture and political geography. Creating this structure will involve:
- developing undergraduate and graduate education programs in collaboration with academic institutions throughout the region that address the health of the Salish Sea
- designing mechanisms for Coast Salish communities to identify knowledge gaps and contribute to constructing a shared research agenda
- facilitating public communication about the Salish Sea
The Salish Sea Institute aims to strengthen a sense of place, increase knowledge and understanding, foster respect for history and culture, and lead to actions that serve to restore and protect the health of the Salish Sea.