The Department of Environmental Policy’s mission is to protect and restore the quality and quantity of all lands and waters upon which the Tribe depends to exercise its Treaty Rights.
The Environmental Policy Department carries out its mission by working collaboratively and strategically at the intersection of public policy, law, and science to provide policy leadership, advice and coordination to the Swinomish Senate to advance the protection and restoration of all the habitat needed to recover fisheries and wildlife throughout northern Puget Sound and the Skagit River Basin, including its headwaters in British Columbia. Using strategic advocacy, the Department works proactively to achieve habitat goals while simultaneously defending against detrimental and inadequate law and policy proposals.
As Skagit River salmon and steelhead populations become increasingly imperiled, their recovery is at a tipping point that is predominantly dependent upon the protection and restoration of aquatic and marine habitat as identified in the 2005 Skagit Chinook Recovery Plan. The Department is charged with making sure that there is sufficient habitat to recover Skagit River salmon and so that there will always be fish to fish for tribal members and the next 7 generations. The Department’s work includes extensive collaboration and coordination with the Office of Tribal Attorney, technical staff at the Skagit River System Cooperative, Fisheries Department and Wildlife Program, as well as Earth Justice attorneys, independent scientific consultants and Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission staff.