“I was not born in Bristol Bay. I do not fish in Bristol Bay. In fact, truth be told, I’ve only been to Bristol Bay once. And yet, it is the single most important place that has forever shaped my life. Because of Bristol Bay I met my husband. Because of Bristol Bay I am now a mother to two small boys.
I was first introduced to Bristol Bay in 2011 when I joined a strategic communications firm in Seattle doing social media management. On my first day I was notified that I would be working on the “Save Bristol Bay” campaign. I remember asking “where is Bristol Bay and why does it need saving?”
It was through the Save Bristol Bay campaign that I met Ben, a commercial fisherman who spent his childhood summers playing in Bristol Bay’s tundra and early adult years helping run his family’s seafood processing business.
Between Ben and my work, Bristol Bay quickly became the topic of nearly every discussion. Bristol Bay seeped into every pore in my life; there was no separating the personal and the professional. Almost overnight Bristol Bay became everything for me.
Our first son was born during the peak of the Bristol Bay sockeye run, our second son on Alaska Wild Salmon Day. Bristol Bay is in their DNA. My boys will grow up learning from her waters, people, landscapes, and spirit. My boys will grow up knowing that they are alive because of Bristol Bay.”