Duke’s Participation in CHOW: A Letter to President Trump

At Duke’s Seafood & Chowder, we are committed to promoting food sustainability, especially when it comes to Wild Salmon in the Pacific Northwest. Duke Moscrip, owner and founder of Duke’s, has made it his mission to help restore the salmon runs of the Columbia Basin, doing whatever it takes to spread awareness and generate community interest.

That’s why we are extremely excited to send our Executive Chef “Wild” Bill Ranniger to Washington D.C this month to participate in Capitol Hill Oceans Week (CHOW). He will be meeting with policymakers, attending seminars and promoting the benefits of saving the salmon of the Pacific Northwest.

What is CHOW?

Capitol Hill Oceans Week has grown from a small, one-day gathering in 2001 to our nation’s premier annual conference that examines current policy issues affecting America’s marine, coastal and Great Lake environments.

Running June 13-15, CHOW is packed with events that bring together over 600 national and international policymakers, scientists, academics, businesses and conservation leaders. Convened by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the events are topped off with a black-tie Ocean Awards Gala dinner, featuring a sustainable seafood menu and over 500 attendees from the national oceans community. This dinner presents awards recognizing leaders in marine and Great Lake stewardship; past recipients include former President Bill Clinton, former President George W. Bush, and former First Lady Laura Bush.

This year, anyone on the planet has a virtual all-access pass to CHOW. Every event will be live streamed for free. Be sure to keep an eye out for exclusive web-only interviews. A dynamic and strong social media presence has been a focus for organizers as well; #CHOW2016 had 20.8 million mentions on Twitter last year! Look for #CHOW2017 to follow this year’s event.

Duke’s shares the goal of protecting our marine and coastal environments, and promoting the sustainable management of Wild Salmon in Pacific Northwest waters. Chef “Wild” Bill, or SustainaBill (his newest nickname!), is ready to help spread that message throughout America and across the globe at CHOW.

SustainaBill Goes to Washington

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“I would love to help and make a difference, be a chef voice for sustainability.”

That’s what Bill wrote in response to an invitation from the Environmental Defense Fund to attend CHOW and speak on behalf of sustainable seafood, and in particular, to defend the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

The Act is the primary set of laws governing fishing and fisheries management in federal waters. Its key objectives are to:

  • Prevent overfishing
  • Rebuild overfished stocks
  • Increase long-term economic and social benefits
  • Ensure a safe and sustainable supply of seafood

Congress is considering reauthorizing the Act, which includes making some changes. Unfortunately, some of those changes threaten the marine ecosystem and the health of salmon, which is already vulnerable. This cannot be allowed to happen.

So, the EDF is bringing together chefs, fishermen, and business leaders and setting up congressional meetings during CHOW, to allow those affected and concerned by these proposed changes to defend the Act directly to their Congresspeople.

Enter Chef ‘SustainaBill,’ one of the country’s most dedicated sustainable-food chefs. He has helped Duke’s Seafood & Chowder become a leader in the sustainable food movement, especially when it comes to seafood. Together, Bill and Duke have developed strict guidelines that dictate exactly how fish and seafood destined for Bill’s kitchens are to be treated, ensuring the freshest taste and the highest quality available.

Even though SustainaBill is very busy opening a new Duke’s location (stay tuned!), he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend CHOW and share his passion.

“It is Duke’s mission to serve only sustainable products and impact the world in a positive way,” Chef Bill says. “My goal is Duke’s goal. I want to share with our congressional panels the need to save our salmon, which in turn will save our economy, environment, water, whales, eagles and, like Duke always says, save our salmon for our children’s, children’s, children.”

Duke’s Letter to The President

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In case you didn’t know, Duke Moscrip is not shy. And he is definitely not quiet about his passion for saving Wild Salmon.

So it should be no surprise that he has decided to take his concerns directly to the highest office in the nation, and to the person with the power to make real, decisive changes.

President Donald Trump, check your mailbox.

During CHOW, Chef SustainaBill will try to hand deliver a letter that Duke has written directly to the President of the United States concerning the fate of salmon in the Pacific Northwest. The letter itself aims to help the President look at the salmon not only as an environmental resource but also as a strong economic one.

“Think of this resource as a ‘Salmon Mine’.  Much like a gold mine, the Wild Salmon resource yields valuable ore.  However, unlike a gold mine which has an average life of only 10 years, the ‘Salmon Mine’ produces for an eternity because it sustains itself.  The “Salmon Mine” can produce $600,000,000 worth of economic benefit to the economy every year, increase employment by as much as 20,000 people and reduce tax payer expense to zero.”  

Duke implores the President to get his agencies up to speed and submit a plan for restoration as soon as possible because frankly, the numbers are shocking. There used to be anywhere from 10 to 30 million Wild Salmon coming up the Columbia River every year.  Now there are only 400,000. Salmon populations in the Columbia Basin are shrinking terrifyingly quickly, and require immediate action.

The letter ends with an appeal to the President in his role as deal-maker and businessman, reminding him that Wild Salmon from the Columbia River used to be on the White House Menu sheet.

 “And you probably remember that they were on the menu of just about every great restaurant in New York City years ago,” says Duke. “Truly and genuinely restore Wild Salmon in the Columbia River Basin to historical levels and I’ll show you a gigantic increase in employment, an enormous increase in the GDP, not just this year but every year hereafter, and no downside.  And, along the way, there will be an improvement in the environment that will gain you much needed praise.”

Restoring and protecting Wild Salmon in the Pacific Northwest is a double ecological-economic win for America, and that’s the message Chef Bill will be delivering during his meetings at CHOW.

For more information about Capitol Hill Oceans Week, check out their website.

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