Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Paul Faulstich

Reader 2

Roberto Pedace

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In recent years, as globalization has taken a toll on North Americans’ “sense of place,” there has been a swelling interest in the identification of bioregions: spaces delineated by their natural borders and shaped by the cultures that arise within them. Bioregionalism, the movement that arose from this scalar shift, emphasizes the “reinhabitation” of bioregions through a deep understanding and attachment between residents and their watershed and habitat. This thesis argues for a shift to bioregional-scale environmental governance in the Cascadian bioregion (the Pacific Northwest) via an interstate compact. Using the Great Lakes bioregion as a comparable case study, this thesis goes on to examine the effects of neoliberalization on two resulting cross-border institutions, the Great Lakes Commission and the Council of the Great Lakes Region. It ultimately concludes that a shared ecological identity is imperative for preserving the ethos of bioregionalism in future policymaking, rather than just the scale. In an effort to create a tangible path towards the shaping of this identity, a communications framework is presented. Based on lessons from the Great Lakes case studies, this framework utilizes “condensation symbols” and the “triple appeals principle” as possible tools for Cascadian activists to leverage moving forward.