Governor Inslee: Orca need bold, immediate action

An orca whale named J35 - Tahlequah carries her lifeless calf. Experts say the whale is mourning the loss of her offspring. | Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research

The recent death of a newborn orca whale has put the crisis facing the Pacific Northwest’s orcas and salmon in the spotlight. As the mother orca carried the body of her calf for 17 days and over 1000 miles through the waters of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, many people grieved with her and wondered, what can we do to help?

We know what we need to do, and you CAN help: Take action today and urge Governor Inslee to take swift and bold action for the health of orcas, salmon and waters of the Northwest.

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Salmon are a critical barometer of healthy rivers and healthy communities. They are vital to our economy and quality of life and are a cornerstone of native cultures. Unfortunately, salmon populations across the region are in steep decline.

The rivers and streams of the Columbia-Snake Basin and Puget Sound once teemed with more than 20 million salmon and steelhead. Today, those populations have plummeted – hovering between 3-10 percent of their once historical abundance – with 27 of these native fish runs listed under the Endangered Species Act.

In addition to salmon, the Southern Resident Killer Whale population, also called Puget Sound orcas, are in grave danger. The Southern Resident’s primary food source is salmon, specifically Chinook salmon.

A lack of salmon to feed on, and pollution and noise in Puget Sound have pushed the Southern Resident orcas to the brink of extinction. With only 75 individuals left, it is time for bold and immediate action to reverse this dire situation.

Please take a moment to thank Governor Inslee for establishing the Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force earlier this year and urge him to take the next step: advancing critical actions including river restoration, dam removal and pollution prevention.

The orcas, salmon, and people of the Pacific Northwest depend on a healthy ecosystem. We are all connected. Tell Governor Inslee we need his help to ensure we pass on a legacy we can be proud of to future generations.

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Governor
Jay
Inslee
State of Washington