What Happens to the Salmon Happens to Us I

Collage with Screenprint and Linoleum Block Elements on Cotton Rag Paper
29.88 x 22.38 inches

This artwork honors our deep connection with the Coho Salmon, a symbol of California's ecological heritage. Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe reminds us that the fate of the salmon reflects our own, emphasizing the intertwined relationship between humans and nature. “What many don’t understand is that California is a salmon state, and what happens to the salmon happens to us,” he explains.

Through collaborations with Indigenous leaders like Sharaya Souza from the American Indian Cultural District, I've witnessed firsthand the tireless efforts of Northern California's Indigenous communities and environmentalists to safeguard the Coho Salmon. Together, they confront the dangers posed to the Coho Salmon - climate change, habitat loss, overfishing, and agricultural runoff, striving to protect this vital species.

Once abundant in the waterways of central and northern California, Coho Salmon populations plummeted in the 20th century, particularly in the Bay Area. Yet there is hope, thanks to the dedication of Native communities and conservationists, endangered salmon are now making a remarkable comeback in Bay Area streams. Through initiatives focused on restoring river habitats and advocating for dam removal, these efforts signal a promising resurgence for the Coho Salmon and our shared ecosystem.

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