What is the Salish Sea?

“What is the Salish Sea?” I was asked recently.

It is the beautiful and abundant waters of the Pacific Ocean that are protected from the open ocean by Vancouver Island in Canada and the Olympic Peninsula in the USA. It is the homeland of Coast Salish First Nation people.

This large waterway includes Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The cities of Vancouver and Seattle are here. It is surrounded by snow capped mountains and fed fresh water from mighty rivers and long fjords, some of which drain vast high icefields that are reminiscent of the great glacier of the last ice age.

It is a powerful seascape that is moving in all of its moods. I love the way it is celebrated in song by Pauline Le Bel on the CD, Voices in the Sound. And it is my home.

Please explore the region with this Google Map. We like maps! This one can be a bit slow to load.

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2 Responses to “What is the Salish Sea?”


  1. 1 Cailin April 29, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Hello!
    A friend sent me the link to your blog. The Salish Sea used to be my home and is still my ’emotional home.’ My husband is from the Lower Elwha Klallam Nation – Coast Salish peoples on the Olympic Peninsula. I very much appreciate your comments regarding the politics of naming geographical locations – nicely said! A lovely blog! It makes me home sick … :^)

  2. 2 Robert April 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Cailin, many thanks for writing.

    For folks interested in the Lower Elwha Kallam Tribe, please click on the name. The reference to renaming the local waterways is here.


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