Satellite image of Salish Sea
Recently the complex of waterways where I live has been renamed. The satellite map above shows the Strait of Georgia (the upper center waterway, which includes Bellingham Bay), the Strait of Juan de Fuca below (Washington's Olympic Peninsula comes to a point below it), and Puget Sound, at the lower right. And of course there's the Pacific Ocean, far left. Both Canada and Washington have to pass resolutions to change the name to the Salish Sea. Why the name change?
Salish is a term used by linguists to describe the peoples and languages of tribes in the Pacific Northwest. Bert Webber is a retired marine biologist who lives in Bellingham. He says he "is driven by science that shows the waters of Georgia Strait, Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca operate as one ecological unit. The once abundant waters have suffered extreme degradation over the years, and he believes creating an over-arching identity, much like the term the Great Lakes, will help to better manage and protect resources" (National Post, 14 Nov 09).
Here is a map that shows the boundaries of the Salish Sea. I myself am not sure what is accomplished with the name change, but I like the idea that the Native Americans who have lived here long before the rest of us might get some well-deserved recognition. Wikipedia says the Coast Salish are a group of indigenous peoples who live in southwestern BC and northwestern Washington. The different tribes are all grouped together under the one name.
I like it. Not just for the recognition, but for the reason stated... to better manage the waterways. It will probably take many moons for the name to catch on and be recognizable (as in the Great Lakes.) I can see how, with our bureaucracy, grouping them together under one title might help.ReplyDelete
It's always tough getting everyone to agree on such things. People don't like change. I think it is a good idea to recognize the Native Americans. It's about time. It was rightfully theirs in the first place.ReplyDelete
I do like the fact that it will commemorate the Native Americans...but it will be hard for me to let go of the old names...Puget Sound has always been a name full of rich memory for me...I will feel I need to become reacquainted as a new name seems to indicate a new character rather than my old familiar friend...sigh...I am torn...but whatever name is given, it is simply a beautiful area...you are so blessed to live there!!! Wonderful post, DJ!!! Love to you~Janine XOReplyDelete
I hope they get it fixed so Nature isn't suffering like the lakes have up north of where we live. There was a time when you could set them on fire.ReplyDelete
That's very informative DJ, I learned something new again today. Thanks. I thought it was photo of flip flop when I saw it on my dashboard.ReplyDelete
I always find it confusing when names are changed..I believe that there should be a good reason to change..I would defer to the people who live in the area..they would certainly know more about it than me:)ReplyDelete
I think it is a very good idea. We should remember our ancestors at all times. They have not gone, they are just invisible to us.ReplyDelete
Interesting. I imagine that whatever the reason for the change (and it sounds like a good one) Lily is right in saying it'll take some time to catch on. Most people are quite resistant to change.ReplyDelete
Salish sounds kind of weird. But the Native American roots make it a good choice. Swish, swish in the Salish sea. I bet it's too cold for a swim though.ReplyDelete
Thanks for this information. It is very interesting!ReplyDelete
Sniffles and Smiles, you won't have to give up the name "Puget Sound", since the new name applies to the whole collection of waterways. The old names will remain valid, just as the individual Great Lakes retain their historic names. But I hope that the new name will help with getting people to stop referring to Bellingham bay as part of "North Puget Sound." As Jan's map shows, Bellingham Bay is clearly a part of the Strait of Georgia (it's right near the "A" in "GEORGIA") and a long way from Puget Sound.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure about the reasoning that the name change will better manage and protect resource but I like the change. To defer to the original Native American people is always good. It is sort of like Mt. McKinley in Alaska, the native name is Denali which means 'the great one', I find it far more fitting than the name of an American president.ReplyDelete