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  • Writer's pictureFiona Beaty

Calliope the Cloud Sponge

Over the past few months, herring have returned to spawn throughout the Salish Sea. The herring spawn triggers an ecological bonanza, drawing hundreds of bald eagles, sea lions, humpback whales and more, who feast upon the eggs and fish. To share the story about this important marine species and the pressures, conservationists and educators have created a captivating character: Harriet the herring

Herring and bladderwrack, Art by Di (

In Squamish, BC, an elementary school program, Aya7ayulh Chet (Cultural Journeys), that is grounded in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) culture, language and land, has designed an entire curriculum around Harriet. Each year during the spawning season from February to April, Harriet writes letters to the students in Kindergarten to Grade 6. She shares stories about her adventure across the Salish Sea and introduces them to friends she meets along the way, including Sammy the Seal, Gus the Gull, and Liam the Lingcod.

This year, Harriet met another cool creature in the sea - Calliope the Cloud Sponge! Check out the video below for a letter that Calliope asked Harriet to share with her human friends.

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