KUOW: Tribal Canoe Journey and water quality science go hand-in-hand

KUOW posted an article and video featuring this year’s Tribal Canoe Journey and United States Geological Survey scientist Eric Grossman. Grossman has been working with Northwest tribes for several years to collect water quality data during the annual Tribal Canoe Journey. Data collection equipment is attached to the back of canoes and information is collected as the canoes travel throughout the Salish Sea.

From the article, Ben Parker, of the Squaxin Island Tribe:

 Ben Parker is a young member of the Squaxin Island Tribe who worked with Grossman to collect the water quality data. He’s 23, with broad shoulders and has been on canoe journeys for four years in a row, but his fellow paddlers still give him funny looks.

“They ask me why in the hell I’m dragging a bucket under the back of the canoe,” he says referring to the data-gathering equipment.

Parker says melding science with the traditional canoe journey is valuable.

“I think there are certain ways that we’ve always seen how the planet and how the land here works,” he says. “It offers a new perspective, which is good because there’s lots of ways we can look how to tackle these kinds of problems dealing with pollution and that kind of thing.”