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Daryl Williams, Water Hero 2022

Daryl Williams named 2022 Water Hero

As a Tulalip Tribal Member, Daryl Williams has devoted his life’s work to protecting Washington waters and has left an indelible impact on watersheds throughout the state.

“As the late Billy Frank, Jr.  used to say, ‘salmon are the measuring stick of our own health.’ If people want to have good, healthy lives we have to do whatever is necessary to get salmon back to our rivers where they can thrive in clean water and an overall healthy habitat.”

Over his decades-long career working for the Tulalip Tribes Natural Resources Division, Daryl has provided invaluable leadership as a board member for CELP and Adopt a Stream Foundation, as well as the current chair of Washington’s Conservation Commission.

I am a proud Tulalip Tribal member.  That goes hand-in-hand with a connection with the natural world we are determined to protect. We have witnessed the demise of so many species, including the salmon and the orca that depend on the salmon for their survival. Several salmon species have been listed under the Endangered Species Act for more than two decades, yet the resource is still in jeopardy.

Daryl has also served as a member of the Puget Sound Action Team and National Tribal Environmental Council. His advocacy for the protection of Tribal water rights, preservation of instream flows, and innovative forms of renewable energy have, and will continue to, benefit all Washingtonians and this beautiful place we are fortunate to call home.

Celebrate Waters 2022 Patrick, Daryl and Trish
(left) CELP Board President, Patrick Williams; (center) 2022 Water Hero, Daryl Williams; (right) CELP Executive Director, Trish Rolfe

During his acceptance speech, Daryl spoke passionately about the state of our watersheds, the devastating decline of salmon runs, treaty rights, and water rights, stating “water rights is always one of the more difficult [issues] to deal with.” He continued, “all of our watersheds are over-allocated for water; its very difficult to get people who hold the water rights to put water back into the river where its needed.” He also spoke warmly about his time as a board member of CELP and his continued close working relationship with the organization and its leadership.

We were thrilled to celebrate Daryl and his commitment to our waterways by presenting him with the 2022 Ralph W. Johnson Water Hero Award during our annual Celebrate Waters event, held this year at Ivar’s Salmon House on September 15th. “Daryl Williams has worked tirelessly in the environmental field his entire adult life and has seen the environment deteriorate due to development, climate change and other pressures throughout his career,” said Trish Rolfe, CELP Executive Director. “He may be semi-retired but he continues to provide extraordinary leadership in this regard. He is well deserving of this award.”

Water Heroes
1. Rachel Paschal Osborn, Water Hero 2001
2. Benella Caminiti, Water Hero 2004
3. Nancy Rust, Water Hero 2006
4. Mickey Gendler, Water Hero 2008
5. Russ Busch, Water Hero 2010
6. Harriet Bullitt, Water Hero 2011
7. NW Indian Fisheries Commission, Water Hero 2012
8. Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Water Hero 2013
9. Ann Aagaard, Water Hero 2014
10. Upper Columbia United Tribes, Water Heroes 2015
11. Professor William H. Rodgers Jr., Water Hero 2016
12. Dr. John Osborn, Water Hero 2017
13. Water Heroes 2018
14. In Memory of Nancy Shuttleworth Rust: Former CELP Board President & Ralph W. Johnson Water Hero Awardee
15. Larry Wasserman, Water Hero 2019
16. Professor Emeritus Robert Anderson, Water Hero 2020
17. Sharon Haensly, Water Hero 2021
18. Kimberly Ordon aka KO, Water Hero 2021
19. Daryl Williams, Water Hero 2022
20. Carla Carlson Named 2023 Water Hero
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