Letters to the Editor

Happy waterway cleanup underway

The Lummi Nation is committed to maintaining a vibrant community that includes access to fishing grounds and good habitat free of toxins. Unimpeded access to harvest areas and clean water translates to a sustainable fishery and a balanced, healthy environment for all.

We’re pleased to see the phase I cleanup of the Whatcom Waterway move forward. The waterway is a shared resource and cleaning up contamination is critical to preserve it for generations. We hope that lessons learned in the permitting process between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Port of Bellingham will result in continued efforts to improve the region.

Meanwhile, a decision on the Cherry Point coal terminal has been delayed. SSA Marine requested that the Corps issue a 90-day extension to allow the company more time to identify how it would mitigate the project’s impacts to treaty fishing rights. After conducting extensive research, Lummi found there is no way to mitigate the project impacts. We see no need to negotiate mitigation for a project that can’t be mitigated. We expect the Corps to fulfill its constitutional obligation and trust responsibility to protect our treaty rights.

While we may not always agree, we’re committed to working together. Lummi will defend our treaty rights while we strengthen and preserve relationships with the broader community to achieve a healthy environment for all.

Tim Ballew II