A Letter from Jeromy Sullivan, Tribal Chairman, Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe

Dear Port Gamble Bay Friend,

Port Gamble Bay has been a neighbor, friend, and provider to the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe for hundreds of years. In good times and bad, she's been there for us. She's fed our families; helped put clothes on our backs and provided a place for us to live. For generations, she has been our greatest ally. Even today, many of our members rely on the Bay for daily sustenance.

That's why her current state concerns us.

The damage done by decades of pollution has left her in a weakened state. The herring stocks have thinned along with the various fish species that feed off them. Even though operations at the Pope & Talbot mill ceased in 1997, the Bay still tests positive for high levels of petroleum hydrocarbons, arsenic, chromium, lead and mercury. Because of these toxins, the western side of the Bay was closed to shellfishing in 2005. It has never re-opened.

Our Tribe began working with local, state, and private organizations to begin to repair the damage before the Pope & Talbot mill site closed. Today, we're still negotiating with the parties responsible for the Bay's polluted state while performing our own clean-up and research programs. In addition, our Natural Resources department is constantly monitoring the Bay's health and identifying threats that could jeopardize our efforts.

With Port Gamble Bay as one of the last productive bays in the Puget Sound, now is the time to save her. She is an invaluable gem and we want her to be a vibrant part of the Kitsap community for generations to come.


Jeromy Sullivan
Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe

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