With only 74 individuals left, and others far underweight, scientists fear the Southern resident orca population is reaching a tipping point towards extinction. The orcas are telling us clearly that they, and their Puget Sound home, are in trouble.
This week the Governor’s Orca Recovery Task Force released an ambitious set of draft recommendations that range from relatively simple and actionable, to complex and ambitious actions that will take time and persistence to see results.
There are two ways for you to take action.
- Only have a few minutes? Sign on to our quick petition that we will deliver to the task force.
- Want to dedicate around 20 minutes to protect our orcas? Go to the official public comment page and use our simplified guide for commenting. The survey will ask you to rank your level of agreement or disagreement with each potential recommendation. Our handy guide is laid out in the same order as the survey, and highlights the actions we believe are critical for orca survival and recovery.
Washington state must act on three major areas:
- Vessel noise: Establish speed limits around orcas, develop a limited-entry permit system for commercial whale watching, increase law enforcement patrols on the water, and implement oil transportation safety measures.
- Food availability: Increase food for orcas in the short and long-term, improve foraging conditions, invest in habitat recovery, and remove stream barriers.
- Pollution: Reduce stormwater pollution from known hot spots and remove toxic products that harm orcas.
There is no single silver bullet that will save the Southern residents. Survival and recovery will take a suite of bold actions that increase their food supply, give them space to forage, and reduce toxic chemicals that affect the health orcas and the food they eat. We need your voice to address all three of these threats to orca survival.
You can help advocate more food, and less noise and pollution by supporting key recommended actions!
Please act today! Deadline for your comment is October 7.