Return to INDEX, Salish Sea
(Excerpt from an earlier note from Howard:
I deliberately covered a lot of ground in the Blue Book because I wanted people to see the ‘big picture’ on our inland sea and connections between issues that are often considered in isolation from one another, even though the problems never can be solved in isolation.)
With thanks to Howard Stewart
From his book, Views of the Salish Sea, One Hundred and Fifty Years of Change around the Strait of Georgia, 2017
Coastal zone management framework, page 274:
“Taken together, these five stories confirm what we already know, and what those who make decisions affecting today’s Strait should know: it is a highly valued, complex and contested space whose management is remarkably challenging and is certain to grow more challenging in the future. Effective stewardship of this space will be impossible if we continue to treat it with benign neglect, “streamline” our regulation of it and allow the industries that use it to mostly “self-regulate.” Companies may make the right decisions for their shareholders, in the very short term at least, but they cannot reliably manage how the Strait’s diverse resources are shared with the millions of BC residents who also have high stakes in this valued space.
“If we intend to pass this precious sea and its shores on to future generations with its inherent richness and diversity somewhat intact, we must carefully guide the wide range of public- and private-sector interests whose actions affect it. Getting these players— especially from the private sector and the federal, First Nations, provincial, regional and municipal governments—to work together effectively will almost certainly require some sort of coastal zone management framework. This is the best available option, despite the recognised flaws of such an approach. To make such a management approach work effectively around the North Salish Sea will take time and effort. It will inevitably need to be improved through trial and error, determining what can take root in this unique context and what can’t. Approaches and attitudes imported from outside the region—ways of doing things that have worked in other places—will not succeed here unless they can be carefully adapted to our local needs and capacities, our constraints and opportunities. Many of our American neighbours living around the different lobes of the Salish Sea are deeply committed to assuring its future well-being, and we need to include them in our new approaches. But we cannot let inevitably complex negotiations with partners in the US become an excuse for inaction in our own backyard.
“To paraphrase George Orwell, everyone’s home is special, but ours is more special than most. Whether we’ve had the good fortune to be born near the North Salish Sea or the good sense to move here, we know that we live in an extraordinary corner of the world. And by most measures, we are among the world’s most privileged people. We have no excuse for squandering this place, ruining it for our children and their children, in our rush to satisfy short-term needs or fulfill the shifting priorities of industries or governments that are demonstrably not acting in the best interests of our local or global communities. It is our duty to begin treating this place with the care it deserves. We need to learn from our past successes and failures, then re-dream our future here and make it happen.”