The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding over $756,000 to the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community to research coastal climate impacts to traditional foods, cultural sites and tribal community health and well-being.
The combination of sea level rise, wave impacts, and shoreline development will change coastal ecosystems that support Swinomish first foods and place-based relationships, which in turn impacts community health and well-being.
The funds will be used to:
- Develop a model showing projected coastal erosion due to sea-level rise, storm surge, and wave energy through Year 2100 on the shores of the Swinomish Reservation
- Map the vulnerability of Swinomish coastal ecosystem habitats of first foods and culturally significant sites
- Support the Swinomish Climate Change Initiative
- Create educational and outreach tools for Swinomish community members and Coast Salish communities
- Assess research results and develop adaptive strategies
EPA funds research focused on tribal communities through the Science to Achieve Results program. Because many tribes rely on natural resources, it is essential for tribal-focused research to identify possible environmental health risks and the most efficient methods of avoiding or addressing these risks.