"Perhaps the most deeply integrated and
compassionate expression of our caring for the planet is our recognition of the
plight of beings who are not flourishing. Some of these beings are humans who
suffer environmental oppression from unjust discrimination of the wealthy and
advantaged in society. Some are other species whose simple right to existence is
not recognized by their oppressors. To act boldly, even radically, to raise such
plights to the recognition of our fellows and provide relief to the oppressed is
perhaps the pinnacle of our religious environmental work."
~ Green Sanctuary Program
Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
"NSEA's mission is the restoration of sustainable wild salmon runs
in Whatcom County. The association also works with the local First Nations, whose philosophy
is, all natural resources and the people who depend on them, are connected. Salmon was an
important part of the Northwest Tribes history and culture and thus, the destruction of salmon
habitats, had a major impact on the Tribes."
In early 2007, GSP Coordinators Linda Fels and Deb Cruz met with Wendy
Sherrer, Executive Director of NSEA, to discuss a wide variety of projects and programs with
which congregational members could become involved. NSEA's mission is the restoration of
sustainable wild salmon runs in Whatcom County. The association also works with the local
First Nations, whose philosophy is, all natural resources and the people who depend on them,
are connected. Salmon is an important part of the Northwest Tribes history and culture and
thus, the destruction of salmon habitats, had a major impact on the Tribes. It's been years
later, but we've finally recognized it has affected the rest of us as well.
For this project, we felt that NSEA provides a variety of activities that are flexible with our
congregation's busy schedules and wide range of ability to make commitments. It also provides
ample opportunities to expand our involvement should the congregation choose to do so. Our plan
was to start small and build from there. We needed to build awareness of watershed and salmon
habitat issues, become educated and educate, and develop skills that will allow us to take on
larger projects later on. The initial steps were to organize the congregation to attend a spring
2007 work party and another one again in the fall 2007. The first of these work parties was
conducted on March 31st in conjunction with the Columbia Neighborhood Association and well
attended by BUF members, particularly the Coming of Age group. The fall work party was also
attended by BUF members.
In April 2007, the Social Justice Committee took in a collection for NSEA and raised $926.00
Work parties in the Spring and Fall 2008, attendance by BUF was dismal or non-existent. During
this time, NSEA underwent some major structural changes, as well. Now that things have settled
at NSEA, the GSP will look to re-establishing our relationship with NSEA for 2009 and beyond.