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Residents of Western Washington and British Columbia likely recognize bodies of water like Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of Georgia. However, many people don’t recognize that what were once perceived as individual waterways are, in fact, one ecosystem –The Salish Sea.

Derived from a European term that describes the Native American and First Nations peoples of the region, “Salish” recognizes the interconnectedness of this unique place. Not only is the Salish Sea made up of inland waterways, but also the watersheds which feed them and the life which resides in them.

Recognition of the Salish Sea allows separate entities, like Washington state and British Columbia, to put aside borders for the sake of clean air and water. Our series, Return to the Salish Sea, will highlight the intimate and deeply personal efforts of residents all around the ecosystem who work to embrace and protect one of the world's greatest treasures.

The term “Salish Sea” has been in use since the late 1980s, but it wasn’t officially recognized by the geographic boards of the United States and Canada until 2009-2010. Around that time, KNKX (then KPLU) hosted a very successful series called Reflections on the Water. It featured conversations from environment reporter Liam Moriarty on location with all kinds of people around the Salish Sea, talking about their deep connections to the region.

We’re reviving the idea with Return to the Salish Sea, hosted by current KNKX environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp. A northwest native, raised in Seattle and Olympia, Bellamy brings love of the landscape and innate curiosity to the task of giving voice to our unique collective homeland.

In the new series, she’ll travel throughout the region to connect with landowners, scientists, fishermen, tribal members, artists, activists and more in places that have inspired them or that they call home. By hearing their stories, we’ll cover the ongoing issues – everything from efforts to improve water quality and restore salmon habitats to concerns about Canada’s recently-approved Trans Mountain Pipeline, which would bring a sevenfold increase in tanker traffic through the Salish Sea.

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About KNKX

Ranked as one of the most popular public radio stations in the nation, KNKX has been serving the Puget Sound Region with the very best in jazz, blues and NPR news since 1966.

Broadcasting from both Seattle and Tacoma and covering the Puget Sound Region as a whole. We pride ourselves as being the region's leading source of jazz, blues, and in-depth local and national news, avaliable 24 hours a day online, on your phone and on your radio.

We also provide a full-time streaming jazz service Jazz24. Broadcasting around the world, Jazz24 reaches a worldwide audience and further spreads the American music genre of jazz to new and old listeners alike.

We look to provide more than broadcasting in the traditional sense, and are broadening the content of KNKX to include all forms of media to better serve you, our listener and friend.

Project Credits

Bellamy Pailthorp | Producer & Reporter/Host

Madolyn Laurine | Researcher & Production Assistant

Erin Hennessey | Editor

Simone Alicea | Web Editor

Parker Miles Blohm | Design & Development