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Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 17, 2009 at 4:31 PM

The Salish Sea

Follow the orcas

I was dismayed by the way your article “Salish Sea: We’re already sailing on it” [page one, March 14] treated the name: as though it was something that deserved controversy.

The term the Salish Sea does not rename Puget Sound. The fact is, Puget Sound is part of a larger transboundary ecosystem. George Vancouver named the fjord — the waters south of the Tacoma Narrows — after Peter Puget. The United States Geological Survey defines Puget Sound as the waters south of Admiralty Inlet, Deception Pass and Swinomish Channel.

The term Puget Sound recently has been expanded to the Canadian border. This disregards nature keeps us from being able to even see our ecosystem, much less solve its problems and human effects.

In the past 25 years, that bioregion’s population has more than doubled. Its 2020 population is expected to reach 4 million in Canada and exceed 5 million south of the border.

The orcas enter by the transboundary Strait of Juan de Fuca, and travel up the transboundary Haro Strait, along the west side of San Juan Island, following the salmon returning to Canada’s Fraser River. Try explaining that by using only the term Puget Sound.

— Shann Weston, Friday Harbor

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