Overwhelming as the challenges before us may at times seem, our community and culture have also proven their ability to endure and survive many times before.
— Chairman Brian Cladoosby, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
 
 
 
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Welcome to the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s climate adaptation and action information portal. We want to share our progress, commitment, and strategic actions in preparing our community for the impacts of climate-related warming and other changes. We hope you will find this information helpful as you and your community plan, prepare for, and take action to address climate change.

 

Swinomish Tribe and Climate Change

The Swinomish Tribe has been working since 2007 to take action to address climate change. Following the Swinomish Tribal Senate’s landmark proclamation directing tribal departments and staff to engage in adaption planning, the Tribe has increasingly experienced the effects of climate change through storm surges, flooding, erosion from wind and wave actions, and impacts to tribal fisheries resources.

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Fisheries

The Swinomish Fisheries Department provides technical assistance and harvest management services to the Swinomish Tribal Community to manage salmon, bottom fish, and shellfish resources. The department works in collaboration with the Skagit River System Cooperative (SRSC) a consortium of the Swinomish and Sauk-Suiattle tribes that provides habitat protection, restoration, and salmon recovery planning services.

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Environmental Protection

The Swinomish Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) works to protect and restore the natural environment of the Swinomish Reservation, as well as the health and welfare of the tribal community for present and future generations. DEP has been instrumental in creating the Swinomish Climate Adaptation Action Plan. DEP recently made updates to this plan as well as the the matrix that helps track climate change progress in the short and long term.

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Hunting and Gathering

The goal of the Swinomish Hunting and Gathering Program is to preserve and protect the Swinomish Tribal Community’s treaty-reserved and federally-protected hunting and gathering rights. Through a co-management agreement with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and other Point Elliot Treaty Tribes, the Hunting and Gathering Program continues to ensure that the best management methods based on science are implemented to protect wildlife resources and ensure healthy and sustainable game populations for the benefit of all people for the next seven generations.

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Skagit Climate Science Consortium

In 2009, the Swinomish Environmental Policy Department helped organize conversations with staff at Seattle City Light, the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington, and scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA, Western Washington University, Pacific Northwest Laboratories, National Park Service, and Skagit River System Cooperative that resulted in Swinomish securing EPA funding to launch the Skagit Climate Science Consortium (SC2) in 2010.

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Emergency Management

Swinomish Emergency Management coordinates mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and provides emergency management assistance in disaster situations. The Tribe is prepared in the event of a power failure from a storm surge, blocked ingress or egress from flooding, or other climate-related emergencies.

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