Students for the Salish Sea

Students for the Salish Sea is a student-empowerment organization that works to protect and restore the health of The Salish Sea through the cultivation of watershed consciousness and action. The purpose of Students for the Salish Sea is to develop a transboundary network of Salish Sea clubs at public, private, and tribal colleges throughout the bioregion, supported through coordinated leadership training, networked campaign planning, financial empowerment, and mentorship. The purpose of each club is to cultivate watershed consciousness in our Salish Sea communities and support the leadership of local Indigenous communities while supporting local and regional campaigns in five essential categories: Glaciers (climate), Rivers, Lakes, Bays, Forests and Beaches/Nearshore environments. Building collaborative pathways for watershed protection and restoration in the Salish Sea.

Students for the Salish Sea holds an annual leadership training and fellowship hosting over 36 young leaders from colleges across the Salish Sea Bioregion. During this training, these awesome young leaders work on developing the skill necessary to continue and begin watershed protection clubs on their respective campuses.

This project also hosts the Gathering of Indigenous Protectors for the Salish Sea, a gathering of frontline leaders at both Northwest Indian College and Western Washington University.

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Project Leaders

Chiara D’Angelo-Patricio - Volunteer Executive Director

Lydia Dennee Lee -Western Washington University Club Leader

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 A young environmental water protectress working to protect the Salish Sea bioregion, Chiara is a co-founder of Students for the Salish Sea. Her work centers around how to transform our human lifestyles, transportation systems, food systems and energy systems to create a society that has a generative impact on ecological systems. She lives at the mouth of the Elwha River, a river that has recently undergone a first of its kind dam removal project and strongly believes that humans will one day learn to give back more than we take.


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Born and raised in Olympia, WA, Lydia's urge to learn more about the water started at a young age. After founding the Marine Biology Club at her high school, Lydia became active in her community and started to pursue an education focused on marine science. During the summer of 2013 Lydia worked as an intern at the UW Friday Harbor Labs studying kelp nets surrounding the San Juan Islands, trying to figure out if marine animals would be able to live in artificial kelp if any of the current kelp species became extinct. After graduating, Lydia started off as a marine biology major at Western Washington University, and after a year or prerequisites for the biology program, Lydia decided to shift her studies to Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies. In the past two years, her studies focused on nature, art, and photojournalism. During the summer of 2016, Lydia studied conservation at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa-- focusing on Addo elephants, invasive warthogs, and the relation between environment, economy, and societal collapses. After coming back from studying abroad, she got involved with the No DAPL Coalition, and the Western's Native American Student Union. During fall quarter of 2016, she traveled to Standing Rock twice bringing donations and working around the camp. Winter quarter of 2017, Lydia spent over two months doing an independent study at Standing Rock focusing on environmental racism, indigenous history, sustainable living, and creating a reflective journal. Her goal is to protect the land she calls home, as well as protect the rights of the people and communities native to the area. Lydia's spare time is normally spent outdoors surrounded by friends and family if not painting, drawing, or watching the moon.


Contact us to let us know if you would like to volunteer directly with this project. All gifts are tax deductible.