Swinomish Climate Change Initiative

In October of 2007 the Swinomish Indian Senate issued a Proclamation directing action to respond to climate change challenges. The Proclamation acknowledged the potential for issues and impacts in the vicinity of the Swinomish Indian Reservation and directs tribal departments and staff to undertake efforts and studies for promoting long-term proactive action.  Following this Proclamation, the Tribe attained funding through the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Native Americans (ANA), to support a major new $400,000 Climate Change Initiative. ANA provided 80% of the funding, and the Tribe matched the remaining 20%.

Begun in late 2008, the Swinomish Climate Change Initiative was a two-year project that attempted to assess local impacts, identify vulnerabilities, and prioritize planning areas and actions to address the possible effects of climate change, in regards to health, culture, the built environment, and the natural environment. The ultimate goal was to develop an action plan for the future based on a comprehensive study of where potential risks and impacts of are expected to occur.  The Climate Adaptation Action Plan was released in October 2010. (see separate entry)

The Swinomish Indian Reservation, located on the southeastern peninsula of Fidalgo Island in Washington state, is surrounded by water on three sides and is adjacent to low-lying mainland areas - susceptible to sea-level rise among other related climate change impacts. The tribe’s historic and cultural reliance on many traditionally used resources is also at risk due to climate change.

Publication Date: 2008

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  • Agency guidance/policy

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