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Gathering Strength for What Lies Ahead

Updated: Aug 6, 2022

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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