Gathering Strength for What Lies Ahead

Updated: Aug 6

by Marissa Wilson

Sandhill cranes have started taking to the skies to practice formations and maneuvers, sharing knowledge with their young in preparation for the unbelievable journey ahead. It is a time of growth marked by absence: light, salmon and tourist traffic are beginning to wane, fading into the deep rust hues of late-summer fireweed, leaning toward the time of rest ahead.

At the same time, I find I am gearing up. My sweatshirt sleeves carry the scent of halibut instead of salmon. After two years of working from home, AMCC is settling into a new main office space in Homer. Our walls are adorned with a selection of portraits from “Ocean Home,” an AMCC project from two decades ago where coastal peoples shared how they were connected to the sea; what was important culturally, spiritually, economically and socially about the health of the ocean. Their faces remind us that resistance is not work with an end date - it is an inherent part of movement. Resistance asks us to be uncomfortable and

to find joy and purpose in it.

It is good to be anchored here. There’s a storm brewing: lower Cook Inlet is the focus of stunning political energy. After canceling Lease Sale 258 this spring, the Department of Interior released a new Five Year Program that includes a lease here as an option yet again. Alongside partners, AMCC is ready to begin a long campaign to secure permanent protections for the region so loved by its people: during the last Five Year Program, 99.98% of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) commenters demanded cancellation.

But last week, the fire of urgency was lit when a 2022 lease of lower Cook Inlet was added as a sacrifice necessary to win key support for passing the Inflation Reduction Act.

This is my home. I share this home with myriad other plant and animal communities who thrive because of the phenomenal tides and tectonic activity that make underwater pipelines a particularly bad idea here. Communion with this place is a sacred age-old practice. I harvest and weave community within it.

No matter what happens in lower Cook Inlet, I invite you to celebrate and honor this place with me. May we cultivate love powerful enough that it reaches generations we’ll never meet.

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