August 2021
Washington Water Watch
Protecting the Skagit River
The Skagit is the largest river system in the Puget Sound area, encapsulating more than 3,000 rivers and streams and delivering one-quarter of the fresh water flowing into the Puget Sound. It is the only river system in the lower 48 states that is home to all five species of Pacific salmon and Steelhead trout. Due to development in the Skagit basin salmon runs have been declining in recent decades. This decline is in part due to reduced instream flows for salmon spawning and migration. In 2005 and 2007 three fish species present in the Skagit Basin were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Additionally it is widely acknowledged that Chinook salmon are closely linked to the continuation of the Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW), a population that is also listed under the Endangered Species Act. The State of Washington has identified the Skagit River and Samish River watershed as the most significant Puget Sound watershed for salmon recovery. Further, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has acknowledged that water withdrawals are one of a number of factors inhibiting Chinook salmon populations.

CELP continues to protect the Skagit River. We summited comments for CELP & WELC on Ecology’s Draft decision on Darrington & US Golden Eagle’s application for a proposed new water use. We concurred with Ecology’s denial of the application based on the public interest and we offered legal analysis on other options Ecology has for denying the application. We coordinated with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, who also submitted comments supporting the denial of the application.
CELP's 2020 Annual Report
Check out CELP's 2020 Annual Report to learn more about our work last year and how we continued to protect Washington's waters in the face of many challenges.
The report includes a Water & Climate Change report, Legislative and Agency Advocacy summary, an Update on Watershed Restoration Plans, our Litigation to Restore Rivers, Public Education and Outreach summary, 2020's Finances, and a big thank you to all of our supporters.
Tribute to Lorraine Loomis
CELP was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Lorraine Loomis. She was an incredible person and champion for fish and tribal rights. It is a great loss. She was a fierce advocate, a dear friend, and an inspiration. We will continue to follow her lead to work together for our fish and waters. Our hearts are with Lorraine’s family, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, and all who had the honor to know her.
Image of NWIFC meetings about 40 years ago. Left to right: Dale Johnson, Billy Frank Jr., Lorraine Loomis, Guy McMinds. Courtesy of the NWIFC archives.
NWIFC meetings about 40 years ago. Left to right: Dale Johnson, Billy Frank Jr., Lorraine Loomis, Guy McMinds. Courtesy of the NWIFC archives.
Lorraine Loomis at the Fraser River in 2019 photo by Amy Seiders, courtesy of NWIFC.
Jim Weber, CELP Board of Directors Secretary, and retired policy analyst who worked for Lorraine at Skagit System Cooperative and at Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, reflects on Lorraine’s legacy and our work moving forward to protect our waters and fish.

"It was an honor and a pleasure to work for Lorraine.
Lorraine Loomis was one of the last of a generation of tribal fishery managers who pioneered implementation of the Boldt decision; the court ruling holding that the treaty tribes in northwestern Washington possessed treaty rights to 50% of the harvestable surplus of salmon. As long-time fisheries manager for the Swinomish Tribe, Lorraine earned a reputation for working towards solutions that met the needs of all twenty treaty tribes. She was consistently respectful of other tribes and the state despite their differences. Throughout, she sought results that would protect and improve the salmon runs. It is fair to say that, without the efforts of Lorraine and other tribal fishery managers to boost returns to individual rivers, it is likely that Puget Sound salmon would already be gone.
The high esteem felt by the tribes for Lorraine was exemplified by their determination that she should be Billy Frank, Jr.’s successor as Chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. As Chair, Lorraine continued her advocacy for protecting and improving salmon habitat. Most recently, Lorraine has used her position to advocate for stream adjudications in watersheds such as the Nooksack. Despite the efforts of tribes and others who have sought to work with local agricultural interests, it has become apparent that stream adjudications are the only way to secure the water necessary for the long-term health of salmon and agriculture in this and other watersheds. While Lorraine is no longer with us, we recognize her wisdom and support her efforts and the efforts of tribes to get water management in Washington that will protect salmon and stop the de-watering of Washington’s streams."
Key source for adjudication advocacy: Being Frank – July 6, 2021

Steve Robinson, CELP Board of Directors Vice President, who served for 26 years as the Public Affairs Manager and Policy Analyst for the Northwest Indian Fishers Commission also spoke about Lorraine.

"Lorraine was an outstanding environmental warrior and peacemaker. She was dedicated to the 'nth' degree to bringing back the salmon and protecting wildlife and gathering and harvesting resources so people could fish, but also so they could be restored for future generations. It was a real joy working with her. I'll miss her".
Water Shortage in the West
First-ever water cuts declared for Colorado River in...

Additional cuts - each tier with worsening impact on agriculture and municipal water - are expected if Lake Mead continues to fall.

Read more
Water & Fish News
  • Racial, ethnic minorities face greater vulnerability to wildfires. Read more.
  • Extreme heat is worse in redlined neighborhoods. Read more.
  • Improving access to clean water on the Crow Nation. Read more.
  • Washington state drought recovery unlikely this fall, officials say. Read more.
  • California bans Delta pumping as state faces dire water shortages. Read more.
  • Lake Oroville reaches all-time low level; hydroelectric plant shuts down for first time ever. Read more.
  • Salmon in the Little Spokane River. Read more.
  • Seattle City Light commits to studying impacts of removing Skagit River dams. Read more.
  • Skagit County Sues Seattle City Light. Read more.
  • Columbia River and Snake River too hot for Salmon. Read more.
  • Will Klamath Salmon last until dam removal. Read more.
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report gamechanger for climate lawsuits. Read more.
  • 5 Takeaways from the IPCC. Read more.
  • Climate Change forcing Quinault to move uphill and Deb Haaland Visit. Read More.
Celebrate Water
Presenting Sponsor The Tulalip Tribes

COVID-19 and Delta Variant: In light of the delta variant spreading and with feedback from our community, board of directors, and staff, we have made the difficult decision to postpone Celebrate Water. The safety of our community is our first priority. We cannot wait to celebrate with you safely in person and we believe this is our best option. We look forward to seeing you on December 9th.

Event: Every year we host Celebrate Waters to honor a local water hero, celebrate successes for our waters, and raise funds to continue our important work protecting, preserving, and restoring Washington’s water resources.
We will present the Ralph W. Johnson Water Hero Award for exemplary service on behalf of Washington’s waters and people to retired tribal attorneys, Sharon Haensly and Kimberly Ordon, to honor their careers protecting natural resources and tribal interests.

Read more about our honorees and event here.

NEW DATE: Thursday, December 9th, 2021
Reception: 5:30 pm- 7:30 pm
Thank you to our sponsors! You help make our event and our work protecting waters possible.
Law Office of M. Patrick Williams

Rachael & John Osborn
If you would like to sponsor Celebrate Water please reach out to Kayla Magers at
8th Annual One River, Ethics Matter Conference
The 8th annual One River Ethics Matter conference will focus on the Indigenous-led work of kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ – restoring ntytyix (salmon) to the Okanagan and Upper Columbia rivers.

Hosted by the Okanagan Nation Alliance and The University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus.

When: November 17-18, 2021
Where: Virtual on Zoom
AWRA-WA State Conference 2021
When: OCTOBER 6th and 7th, 2021

Location: To protect the safety of everyone, this year's conference will be held virtually! We will be using Zoom to present the sessions, as well as Whova to provide an opportunity to interact with our sponsors and view the conference program.

On October 6 and 7, 2021 the Washington Section of the American Water Resources Association will host a virtual conference on: “Transboundary Water Resources Management and Water Marketing Trends.” This year’s Keynote address will be presented by Robert W. Sandford. Bob holds the Chair in Water and Climate Security at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health. In this capacity Bob was the co-author of the UNWater in the World We Want report on post-2015 global sustainable development goals relating to water. He is also lead author of Canada in the Global World, a new United Nations expert report examining the capacity of Canada’s water sector to meet and help others meet the United Nations 2030 Transforming Our World water-related Sustainable Development Goals. Bob is also the author, co-author or editor of over 30 books on topics including the history and water resources of the Canadian Mountain West.

85 S Washington St #301,
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 829-8299
Thanks for taking the time to read Washington Water Watch! With your help, CELP has accomplished many victories, yet more work remains to be done. You can support our work by making a donation online here, or mailing a check to: 85 S. Washington St #301 Seattle, WA 98104.