Let lawmakers hear support for legislation to save orcas

Lately, there’s been a steady drumbeat of bad news regarding our local orcas, tragically highlighted by Talequah, who for 17 days would not let go of her dead baby.

What can we do?

Our Southern Resident orca population has sunk to its lowest number in over 40 years. Fueling their decline are several factors, including starvation due to the drastic drop in the chinook salmon population, toxic pollution and threats from vessels, including noise which interferes with prey location.

Last year, Gov. Jay Inslee formed an emergency task force to develop a long-term orca recovery plan. Supporting Southern Resident orca recovery efforts is one of his top priorities in the 2019-21 budgets. A legislative package has been submitted and several bills addressing specific issues are being considered in House and Senate committees. Your state representatives need to hear from you.

Call or write and ask them to move these bills forward for consideration and a vote. Let them know this is important to you, regardless of political party. This should be a bipartisan issue. If we are to save our local orca population from the very real possibility of extinction, we must act now to implement and fund these efforts. Go leg.wa.gov to find and contact your representatives and learn more about individual bills being considered. They need to hear from you.

Meredith Moench

Lummi Island

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FILE — In this Sept. 17, 2020 file photo, provided by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Chelbee Rosenkrance, of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, holds a male sockeye salmon at the Eagle Fish Hatchery in Eagle, Idaho. Wildlife officials said Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, that an emergency trap-and-truck operation of Idaho-bound endangered sockeye salmon, due to high water temperatures in the Snake and Salomon rivers, netted enough fish at the Granite Dam in eastern Washington, last month, to sustain an elaborate hatchery program. (Travis Brown/Idaho Department of Fish and Game via AP, File)
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