Earlier today an opinion piece ran in the Bellingham Herald that I had the pleasure of writing with Whatcom County Councilmember Kaylee Galloway on the importance of protecting our drinking water through updating our thinking on logging around Lake Whatcom.
As we’ve discussed in the past, there has been an ongoing effort to preserve the important ecosystems round Lake Whatcom over the past two decades, and our local government has worked tirelessly to ensure that this beautiful piece of Washington is supported and protected, both maintaining these lands for future generations to enjoy and keeping our drinking water safe.
Proud to work alongside Councilmember Kaylee Galloway!
Responsible stewardship of our public lands goes hand in hand with a sustainable forestry economy. By preserving old forests in our drinking watershed, we can increase carbon storage and continue to produce wood.
Thank you so much to all the incredibly hard workers here in Whatcom County, and to Councilmember Kaylee Galloway for working alongside me to ensure that our precious ecosystems and drinking water are protected. Together we will continue to take action preserving Lake Whatcom for the next seven generations to come.
Ahead of the rest of my update on this Fantastic Friday, I’d like to share with you Kaylee and my closing thoughts from our piece:
“We must work together at all levels of government to meet the challenges climate change poses to our region while providing clean drinking water. Over the next few months, we will be talking with community members, decision-makers and elected leaders to figure out our next steps. Our drinking water is too important to do otherwise, and sound stewardship of the Lake Whatcom watershed today will ensure we have clean water and a healthy environment for generations to come.”
Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday.
“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff
Children’s Salmon Day!
Here in Washington, we understand how important it is to protect and maintain our salmon populations. Salmon make their homes in waterways throughout our great state, making their annual trips to the sea and back, journeying across this place we all call home.
In recent weeks we’ve talked about the importance of protecting these habitats and doing what we can to help restore them, whether that’s through legislation that bolsters environmental protections or through federal action to remove the Snake River dams.
We must always endeavor to protect and promote our salmon populations!
Today I want to take a minute to highlight an incredible group that works to protect our salmon and salmon habitats. The Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group is one of 14 Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups in Washington State and are part of a coordinated effort to educate and involve the public in salmon enhancement activities across the state at the community level.
Together we have been able to secure support for the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group in Olympia, and they have done incredible work both in working on behalf of our precious salmon and supporting our communities through educational programs.
Tomorrow, Saturday May 14, one of those programs is taking place at the Children’s Museum of Skagit County! From 10am to 2pm, the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group and the Skagit Conservation District are hosting the Skagit Water Weeks’ Salmon Day at the Children’s Museum – click here for more information!
The Skagit Fisheries Enhancement (SFEG) is a nonprofit organization formed in 1990 to engage willing landowners in salmon habitat restoration and watershed stewardship to enhance salmon populations. As a non–governmental organization, we have unique cooperative relationships with local landowners, conservation groups, government agencies and tribes. To learn more about them and their work, click here.
Water Supply Joint Legislative Task Force
Earlier this week, our Joint Legislative Task Force on Water Supply met once again to cover a variety of important topics that impact how we manage our water in Washington state.
We heard updates on our Tier 1 proposals, learning from our trusted experts on aquifer characterization and groundwater/surface water interactions in Lower Skagit River Valley between Sedro-Woolley and Cape Horn, an update on our comprehensive Skagit estuary study, as well as the Skagit River Tributary instream flow habitat assessment.
All our work focuses on ensuring that our water supply meets the needs of Washington today, and will be set up for the needs of Washington in the future. It’s a privilege to work alongside other dedicated individuals on this important issue, and I’m glad to be your voice in Olympia as we determine how best to move forward.
Additionally, we had a portion of our meeting set aside to hear public comment from Washingtonians – and I want to express my gratitude to all those who joined us this week to share their opinions! We make improvements together, and I so appreciate you making your voice heard.
We will always work to protect our water supplies!
To review our agenda, relevant documents, or view the meeting in its entirety, click here.
This is an important issue that will always be a top priority of mine – I’ll continue to provide updates as we move through next steps on our water supply and management throughout Washington state.
Women’s Health Protection Act Vote in Congress
As we discussed last week, a draft of an upcoming decision from the Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade leaked to Politico, and while this is not the final decision or the official decision of the court, it is a scary and heartbreaking development for our country.
Now, just a few days ago the Senate voted against the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have preserved a woman’s right to choose. While this was not the result we had hoped for, it’s been made clear that the majority of this country wants to preserve Roe v. Wade, and protect the rights of all those who bear children.
As a mother I understand how critical it is that our daughters and sisters have access to reproductive care and are trusted to make their own decisions. Here in Washington we will stand firm protecting Washingtonian’s right to choose.
I will always work to protect those rights as your voice in Olympia, and I am ready link arms with my fellow representatives in the peoples’ house to fight against this new attack on the rights of our daughters, sisters, friends, family, and all who bear children.
Thank you for your continued support as we fight to protect the reproductive rights of everyone in Washington, and this country.
Renaming the Harney Channel
Last month, the Washington State Committee on Geographic Names approved a proposal to rename the Harney Channel – about a half-mile wide and 2 miles long between Orcas and Shaw Islands in San Juan County.
The channel was named after General William Harney, who, according to the Seattle Times, “once tried to defend the San Juan Islands from British rule but also was responsible for the murders of Indigenous people and an enslaved woman.”
Now, following a community group raising awareness, the Washington Board on Geographic Names is considering renaming the waterway Cayou Channel after Henry Cayou, an Indigenous San Juan County commissioner and commercial fisherman who lived in the San Juan Islands.
The Henley Channel in the San Juan Islands
This is a fantastic example of members of our community standing up and making their voices heard on issues important to them. I’m grateful they are raising awareness and promoting a better understanding of the first peoples of the San Juans. Thank you for your work, I am proud to support this cause.
This is an incredible opportunity to enhance our government-to-government relationships between treaty tribes of the area, local, state, and federal governments. We must all come to the table for these difficult discussions, and I will always make space for all voices to be heard.
Endorsing My Re-election Campaign!
Friends, representing you in Olympia these past four years has been such an incredible honor. I have loved getting to know each and every one of you, and it is always my goal to listen to each of you as we continue working to create a place our grandchildren’s grandchildren will be proud to call home.
It’s with that in mind that I ask you to stand with my campaign – I would love to include your name on my list of endorsements as I run for re-election this year. If you’d like to endorse my campaign, click here – it will only take a minute!
Excited to run to continue as your voice in Olympia!
The 40th LD is an incredible place, and I am proud to have you behind me as I run for re-election to continue as your voice in Olympia.