Salmon at the Bay is a fundraising event that features a salmon-inspired art show and a kick-off salmon bbq held at Boundary Bay Brewery every year forthe last six years. Salmon at the Bay is Northwest Salmon Enhancement Associations‘s largest fundraiser and all proceeds from the event go directly to funding streamside habitat restoration projects throughout Whatcom County.
This year’s theme was Common Waters: Connecting Salmon and People. One of the best things about Salmon at the Bay is the way this event really brings the community together and highlights the beauty of this unique and iconic species. Local artists were asked to create and donate salmon and water-inspired pieces of any medium to be displayed and sold gallery style at Boundary Bay through August 24th. This year more than 50 local artists, including featured artist Laurie Potter, donated their time, talents, and masterpieces to Salmon at the Bay. The vast majority of the participating artists live right here in Bellingham, and every artist resides in Whatcom County. To see a slideshow of the art from this year (as well as the past two years!), click here.
People who are interested in supporting NSEA in our endeavors to restore sustainable wild salmon runs to Whatcom County can support NSEA in a variety of ways; by becoming an individual or business member of NSEA, by volunteering at a community stream restoration work party in the spring or fall, by adopting a restoration site to maintain with friends and family on a regular basis, by attending NSEA events, and by making lifestyle choices that minimize harmful impacts on local watersheds.
Salmon are a keystone species here in the Pacific Northwest and are an important indicator we have of the health of our coastal ecosystems. Salmon are extremely sensitive to changes in water quality, water quantity, and trophic webs. The more intact, diverse, and productive a freshwater ecosystem is, the healthier the salmon stocks will be. A decline in the ability of a stream or river to support the rearing of young salmon indicates a decline in the overall health of the ecosystem. Salmon carcasses provide rivers and streams with large amounts of marine-derived nutrients that feed aquatic insects, eagles, humans, and even the trees and shrubs growing along the banks. Timothy Egan wrote that, “the Pacific Northwest is any place a salmon can get to,” and I’m inclined to agree.
Volunteer Coordinator for NSEA