Our Southern Resident orcas are in trouble. This endangered population is at an all-time low. With the death of four-year-old J50 and a newborn calf, only 74 individuals remain.
The solutions for the orcas are not simple, but they’ve been clear for decades. The three biggest threats to orca survival are lack of Chinook salmon (their primary food source), toxic pollution in the environment, and vessel noise in their feeding areas. Governor Inslee’s Orca Recovery Task Force just released preliminary recommendations for how to address these urgent issues and help the population recover.
UPDATE: The survey on the draft recommendations is now closed, but you can still submit general comments to the Task Force.
The Task Force is accepting public comment until October 7th at midnight. Will you sign our petition to support the strongest possible actions to protect the Southern Residents and their prey from toxic contamination?
Toxic pollution threatens the orcas, but it also threatens the entire food chain. Dangerous contaminants like PCBs present in streams and rivers can kill young fish and impede their ability to survive and grow. In order to protect the orcas and their food source, it’s imperative to clean up existing contamination and stop toxic pollution from entering Puget Sound waters.
The Task Force is accepting comments through an online survey with over 60 questions. For this petition, Soundkeeper has chosen to focus in the areas where our expertise is strongest and where partner groups are not already doing substantial work. We encourage you to weigh in on all recommendations that are important to you, in addition to those emphasized in this petition. Soundkeeper strongly supports the expertise and work of the tribes and the partner groups involved in the Orca Salmon Alliance. If you would like more detailed information on the full list of recommendations, please get in touch with Soundkeeper staff and we can provide a more in-depth analysis.