Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, April 14, 2017

Contact:  Roger Peet, (503) 753-7027,
Tierra Curry, (928) 522-3681,

Salmon Mural Unveiled at Portland Airport as Part of National Endangered Species Project 

'Sockeye Salmon Bring the Ocean to the Mountains' Now On Display

PORTLAND, Ore.— As part of the Center for Biological Diversity's national endangered species mural project, a local artist has created an exhibit at Portland International Airport depicting the journey of Columbia River sockeye salmon.

The nationwide art series aims to connect communities with local imperiled wildlife by highlighting threatened species of regional significance. The new 15-square-foot exhibit, “Sockeye Salmon Bring the Ocean to the Mountains,” is a PDX Art Program feature on display in Concourse D.

“Endangered salmon are of utmost cultural significance to the Pacific Northwest, so Portland International Airport is the perfect place to host a mural of endangered Columbia River sockeye,” said local artist Roger Peet, who spearheads the endangered species mural project.

Turning bright red as they mature, sockeye salmon return from the Pacific Ocean to their home rivers when they are between three and eight years of age. Their epic journey can cover thousands of miles and brings nutrients from the ocean upstream as the salmon spawn and then die in their natal streams.

“The endangered species mural project brings together art, science and conservation to foster connections between human communities and imperiled wildlife, so we hope this exhibit inspires all those who encounter it to reflect on their connection to local endangered species,” said Tierra Curry, a scientist at the Center.

The endangered species mural project has installed 10 murals in public spaces around the country. The airport installation is one of two features in Portland. A celebration for an in-progress mural of the streaked horned lark, a songbird, and Kincaid's lupine, an endangered Willamette Valley prairie wildflower, is planned for April 30 at Artist & Craftsman Supply on North Lombard, a local business that offered its wall to be part of the national project.

Around the country, murals already in place include a mountain caribou in Sandpoint, Idaho; an Arctic grayling in Butte, Mont.; a monarch butterfly in Minneapolis; a jaguar in Tucson, Ariz.; a blue whale and a yellow-billed cuckoo in Los Angeles; a watercress darter in Birmingham, Ala.; a pink mucket pearly mussel in Knoxville, Tenn.; a white fringeless orchid in Berea, Ky.; and a Dakota skipper butterfly now at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, originally installed on a warming structure at the Oceti Sakowin water protector camp.

Portland Airport mural

Photo by Jerry McCarthy, Port of Portland. This image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.2 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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