“The Year of the Salish Sea (June 8, 2022-June 7, 2023) is a call on our leaders and on the public to take action, a provocation for greater collaboration, and a catalyst for change.”yearofthesalishsea.ca
The Year of the Salish Sea (YOSS) emerged from SFU’s Semester in Dialogue, for which I was a co-instructor in the fall of 2021. During the 13 week program, the role of the instructor was to curate and invite expert guests (eg. water scholars, Indigenous elders, public servants, scientists) to engage with students in order to understand the complexities surrounding Salish Sea.
We hosted two ½ day stakeholder workshops that reminded us of importance of intentional planning, and collaborative leadership — ensuring the right people are in the room, crafting the invitation, designing the agenda and activities, and following through. The opportunity identified by stakeholders was an intervention that would amplify existing stewardship work and to get local governments talking to each other about meaningful policy change and ocean governance.
YOSS is now being championed by 3 of our students with support from the City of Vancouver. So far, ten governing bodies have passed Year of the Salish Sea motions, proclaiming June 8, 2022-June 7, 2023 as the Year of the Salish Sea including the City of Vancouver, the City of Powell River, the City of Olympia, the Town of Gibsons, the Municipality of Bowen Island, the District of Squamish, the City of Victoria.