SeaLegacy, which is based in Qualicum Beach, has partnered with Salish Sea Trust to allow it to use their photos for the Salish Sea Trust’s campaign to make the Salish Sea a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo submitted by Cristina Mittermeier/SeaLegacy

SeaLegacy, which is based in Qualicum Beach, has partnered with Salish Sea Trust to allow it to use their photos for the Salish Sea Trust’s campaign to make the Salish Sea a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo submitted by Cristina Mittermeier/SeaLegacy

Support for Salish Sea as UNESCO site grows

Campaign kickstarted by Qualicum Beach group

The campaign to have the Salish Sea designated as a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations) World Heritage Site seems to be gaining in support.

People from all over the world are supporting a nomination to designate the Salish Sea as a World Heritage Site, according to a news release from SeaLegacy.

The release states that SeaLegacy, in partnership with the Salish Sea Trust, has collected as many as 6,000 signatures representing people from not only B.C. and the rest of Canada, but also regions in Mexico, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, the United States and Iceland.

The campaign, which started a few months ago, uses photos from SeaLegacy, a group of visual storytellers. Cristina Mittermeier of SeaLegacy said she understands the role the photographers play is empowering other organizations with the use of their images.

The Salish Sea, named in 2010 for the Coast Salish peoples, extends from the north end of the Strait of Georgia and Desolation Sound to the south end of the Puget Sound and west to the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including the inland marine waters of southern B.C. and northern Washington.

If successful, the Canadian portion of the area will carry a similar designation to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, the Great Wall of China and Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump here in Canada. Parks Canada will compile a short-list of ten potential sites later this year, and present it to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations).

This campaign is geared towards getting the Salish Sea on that list.

SeaLegacy has released a mini-documentary featuring Mitchell, as well as National Geographic Photographers and SeaLegacy Founders Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier.

Geraldine Manson, a Snuneymuxw elder, is also featured in the video, which can be viewed at vimeo.com/212160230.

The public and other interested stakeholders have in until the end of April to voice their support by signing a petition or writing a letter, www.WeAreTheSalishSea.eco.

In May Parks Canada begins its evaluation process to create a short list of finalists.

— NEWS Staff/SeaLegacy news release