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Mike Acker's Fundraiser:

Sponsorship for outreach, conservation, and preservation of the Salish Sea

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BENEFITING:

Mike Acker

THE STORY:

The Salish Sea between Washington and Canada is one of the largest ecological jewels in the world, full of biodiversity that supports 8 million people who live and work along its coasts, 27 species of mammals, 172 species of birds, 247 species of fish, and over 3000 unique invertebrates. It also contains the words largest population of geoduck, - a major staple in Asian cuisine - is home to the endangered Orca Whale, has the largest population of harbor seals, bald eagles, is the only place where all 5 species of pacific salmon spawn, and is home to the nations largest shellfish producer, Taylor Shellfish. 113 species are currently threatened or endangered, and between 2008-2011 the number of endangered species almost doubled, due to increasing population and competing interests such as fishing, human developments, shipping, natural resources, and environmental changes. 


Vast beds of eel grass support one of the worlds largest crabbing and salmon industries, absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide, and act as carbon sinks for greenhouse gases. If you eat fresh shellfish and salmon there is a high likelihood it has come from here at some point. 


In the heart of this lies the San Juan Islands archipelago of over 450 islands. On March 25, 2013 President Obama recognized the importance of this area and declared parts national treasures under section 2 of the Antiquities Act. The future of this ecosystem is profoundly affected by our actions, and currently brings in over 30 billion annually in tourism alone, including world-class fishing, kayaking, fishing, scuba diving, kite surfing, camping, whale watching, and tourism. 


PLEASE help sponsor me for performing outreach and physical conservation across the Salish Sea. 


I kayak from place to place all over the Salish sea, rain or shine, for weeks at a time doing advocacy and outreach about the history and issues facing the Salish sea and San Juan Islands, to leave no trace and best practices, to planting dune grass in the fight to prevent erosion from increased human and shipping traffic, which protects eel grass, crabs, baby salmon, which then supports the higher food chain and apex predators such as Orca whales who live off salmon. 


In addition, I help maintain 66 key sites across the Salish Sea for the Cascadia Marine Trail including site reports, removing obnoxious weeds, hanging sign-in notepads so we have metrics on who visits and how much traffic an area gets, which helps decide when to send out work parties. Outside of peer-to-peer outreach, we also form alliances and lobby our government official’s to make sure the public has access to our amazing waterways, which is rapidly shrinking and taken for granted do to private beachfront development. Please take a moment to learn more about us here: https://watertrails.io 


We have won national awards including: 

• National Millennium Trail by the White House (1999) 

• National Recreation Trail designation (1994) 

• British Airways Ecotourism Award for Americas (1996) 

• ACA Recommended Water Trail Designation 

• Currently working on National Water Trail Status. 


Human awareness is just one major step in protecting this worlds wonder and connecting people to it. Once it becomes personal, they want to preserve and restore it. Know, Connect, Protect, Restore. Helping older and younger generations alike understand these interconnecting issues helps ensure healthy ecosystems, economic prosperity, and quality of life for generations to come. With the booming economy and rapidly growing IT tech industry in places like Seattle comes growing pains, and these types of efforts are more important now than ever. 


Every financial donation no matter how small makes a huge difference. I plan on matching 25% on every dollar raised.

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