Can we imagine a place where a cool mist containing the breath of killer whales falls on our cheeks?
And in this place, the sun quite often beams through the wings of eagles, and we can almost make out the sound of drumbeats, echoing from rocky beaches.
We don’t have to imagine it. Today we will take you there!
It would be easy to watch the news and assume that places of timeless natural wonders are a thing of the past. But not if you look at what’s going on with documenting and preserving special cultural or natural places. For decades, there are special people – individuals and organizations – helping us appreciate and protect precious places.
Today we introduce you to a few of them and we bring you to an amazing place on our planet that is being considered for something called UNESCO World Heritage Status. (UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.) This is a global effort to preserve stunningly important locations around the world. Remarkably, the one we point you to today is one that 9 million people have access to every day of their lives: The Salish Sea.
Have you heard of this special part of North America? I had heard of it by other names: Puget Sound, The Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Georgia Strait. It’s the enormous body of water reaching into the coast of North America from the Pacific Ocean and its waters lap at shores of Seattle and Vancouver, and then up into stretches of wilderness in British Columbia.
Here’s a map to get us oriented:
Now here is a place of both cultural and natural wonder that most of us have only known through snippets of information. We’ve seen videos from this area – a pod of Killer Whales and maybe a little bit about the Native Americans who built great coastal totem poles and plied the waters in amazing wooden canoes – but in researching today’s Ever Widening Circles article, we found so much more there to appreciate.
It is a very special place on our planet and thankfully there’s a lot of momentum behind this movement to establish the Salish Sea as a UNESCO site. Take a look at this “wonder-full” video made by a fabulous organization call Sea Legacy and you’ll be buoyed by the efforts of good people to protect good places:
Apparently, The Salish Sea getting closer to becoming a designated World Heritage Site by way of an application to UNESCO in February of 2017. If the application is eventually approved, the Salish Sea will have the same designation as the Great Wall of China, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.
It’s an amazing list to behold. Take a look at the list of over 1000 carefully preserved and protected places on around the planet and play a little with this interactive map on the UNESCO website.
Now let’s dive deeper, literally. This body of water has some of the most extraordinary creatures you will ever see. Take a look at this little bit of wonder!
There’s a kind of elegant beauty to that video that seems the epitome of wonder.
Now I suggest you don’t stop here today. There is so much more to learn.
I was delighted to find Paul Nicklen, a favorite photographer of ours, has added his support to this effort. He is a remarkable National Geographic Photographer and a biologist who is a visual story-teller beyond compare. As his work elevates the importance of the natural world, it lifts us all up with a spirit of possibility.
If you’d like to go off on a little adventure into Paul’s world, I highly recommend diving into two articles we’ve already written featuring Paul’s work in particular. You will come away transformed.
And in the next few months, we will be writing about the amazing organization behind that Salish Sea video, Sea Legacy, a creative organization that makes powerful videos to change the narrative around our world’s oceans.
Paul is definitely one of those people who is carrying the flag of possibilities right on the horizon for us all. Don’t miss his work and extraordinary stories in those two articles.
Stay open, hopeful and curious!
~ Dr. Lynda
Want a guided journey through possibility?
Dive into a random article from our Thought Leader category. You will just scoff the next time you hear the 24-hour news cycle trying to bring you down.