Environment

Jeromy Sullivan: Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe cleans up homelands






A view of Port Gamble Bay in Washington. Photo from Facebook

Jeromy Sullivan, the chairman of the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe of Washington shares news of a cleanup project:
In June, my Tribe kicked off a project focusing on the removal of debris from around Port Gamble Bay. The goal is to improve beach habitats for fish, shellfish, and local residents by removing derelict debris, including pilings and vessels throughout Port Gamble Bay.

This is a joint effort between our Tribe and the State Department of Ecology (DOE) and is being managed by our Natural Resources Department. Before this agreement, we were already working on a plan to remove debris from around the bay. As this effort merges well with DOE’s mission for the area, they asked to be our partner.

On June 14, we started work with a volunteer day at Point Julia. More than 50 people — tribal and non-tribal alike — showed up, ready to get dirty, and move what they could. By the end of the day, we had quite the pile of tires and other items that was ready to be hauled away.

Because of the vast array of items that need to be removed, various methods are being used. Whenever size and safety allows, the junk is being hauled out by hand by staff, volunteers, or temporary workers hired specifically for this project. Larger items are being removed by heavy equipment, such as cranes or boom trucks, or by barges or small watercraft.

For months, we have been reaching out to landowners around the bay offering to haul away any debris on their shoreline property. Of the 55 homeowners we’ve targeted, almost half have given their permission. We’re hoping to reach many more.

Get the Story:
Jeromy Sullivan: S’Klallam Tribe at work to restore bay’s health (The Kingston Community News 9/2)