We Are Puget Sound: Seattle Aquarium hosts photo exhibit on greater Salish Sea stories to inspire change and connection


Tim Kuniholm, Seattle Aquarium, t.kuniholm@seattleaquarium.org, (206) 386-4345

Zachary DeWolf, Washington Environmental Council, zachary@wecprotects.org, (206) 771-4207

Erika Lundahl, Braided River, erikal@mountaineersbooks.org, (541) 241-1576

We Are Puget Sound: Seattle Aquarium hosts photo exhibit on greater Salish Sea stories to inspire change and connection

SEATTLE, WA—The Washington Environmental Council (WEC) and Braided River have partnered to launch an awe-inspiring, curated photo exhibit, We Are Puget Sound, at the Seattle Aquarium. The exhibit, based on a book and campaign launched last year and long-delayed due to COVID-19, features captivating photography and stories from around our region designed to spark collective and personal action to restore Puget Sound for generations to come.

We Are Puget Sound amplifies the voices and ideas behind saving Puget Sound, and will help engage and inspire citizens around the region to join together to preserve its ecosystem and the livelihoods that depend on it,” says Mindy Roberts, Puget Sound program director for Washington Environmental Council/Washington Conservation Voters and contributor to We Are Puget Sound.

Cover of the book We Are Puget Sound

The Seattle Aquarium will host 19 images and stories in its Life on the Edge habitat area from April to August 2021. The 13 local photographers featured are Amy Gulick, Art Wolfe, Brandon Cole, Brian Walsh, Drew Collins, Gerrit Vyn, Glenn Nelson, Harley Soltes, Joel Rogers, Leslie Dorn, Natalie Fobes, Rob Casey and Steve Ringman. You can learn more about the exhibit at seattleaquarium.org/exhibits/we-are-puget-sound.

“We are thrilled to work with Washington Environmental Council and Braided River to host this inspiring photo exhibit,” said Robert W. Davidson, President and CEO of the Seattle Aquarium. “It will be a great complement to the guest experience at the Seattle Aquarium, and a tremendous support to our mission of Inspiring Conservation of our Marine Environment.”

Puget Sound is a place where freshwater streams and rivers mix with the sea—a magnificent and intricate estuary, the very core of life in Western Washington. Yet it’s also a place of broader significance: rivers rush from the Cascade and Olympic mountains and Canada’s coastal ranges through varied watersheds to feed the Sound, which forms the southern portion of a complex, international ecosystem known as the Salish Sea.

The Sound provides economic opportunities, cultural significance and, through its beauty, a high quality of life for urban and rural communities in British Columbia and Washington state, including 50-plus Tribal Nations and First Nations. This unique waterway surrounded by mountains and forests also supports resident and migrating marine life—notably two iconic, interdependent endangered species: southern resident orcas and Chinook salmon.

But Puget Sound’s cherished natural beauty conceals rapidly deteriorating health after a century and a half of resource extraction, pollution, habitat loss and impacts from climate change and development. Recovering Puget Sound and the broader Salish Sea, essential for the survival of all the human, plant and animal communities that rely on it, requires collaboration, innovation and a long-term commitment.

“We’re so proud to bring forth this diverse array of images and stories that showcase the region’s beauty and diversity—and also inspire action to preserve it for future generations,” said Helen Cherullo, executive director of Braided River. “The ‘we’ of We Are Puget Sound is all of us working together to bring our unique gifts to the table and find solutions to make the Sound a healthy, intact ecosystem that all can enjoy and prosper from.” Adds Brian Walsh, contributing photographer, “My involvement in We Are Puget Sound is to provide inspiration as well as a call to action to protect this unique ecosystem.”

The photo exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium will present striking images from We Are Puget Sound: Discovering and Recovering the Salish Sea (Braided River, 2019), a book featuring more than 20 regional photographers and showcasing the many individuals working to find meaningful solutions to protect Puget Sound’s waters, wildlife and the human health and economic prosperity that this region supports.


More about We Are Puget Sound: Discovering and Recovering the Salish Sea

We Are Puget Sound: Discovering and Recovering the Salish Sea is a co-publication between Braided River and Washington Environmental Council. It’s written by journalist and editor David Workman, a communications and education director for state agencies in Washington. Contributing writers include Leonard Forsman, chairman of the Suquamish Tribe; Dr. Mindy Roberts, Puget Sound program director at the Washington Environmental Council; and Brian J. Cantwell, retired travel and outdoors editor of the Seattle Times. Learn more at WeArePugetSound.org.


Thank you to the many donors, including individuals, businesses and conservation partners, whose generosity helped bring this book and exhibit to life. Partners include James Lea Foundation, Keta Legacy Foundation, Salmon Defense, Sea Grant and Woodland Park Zoo, among others. To learn more about how you can contribute to the ongoing efforts to save Puget Sound, visit BraidedRiver.org.

About the Seattle Aquarium
Founded in 1977 and located on Pier 59 in the heart of Seattle, Washington, the nonprofit Seattle Aquarium serves as the largest platform for ocean conservation and engagement in the Pacific Northwest. With a mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, it leads educational, conservation and regional research initiatives for a healthier planet. A thriving and vibrant Aquarium is a key part of Seattle. Help secure the Aquarium for years to come by donating to the Resilience Fund at www.seattleaquarium.org/donate.

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Tim Kuniholm
(206) 386-4345