08:58 PM

For Immediate Release

PRESS ADVISORY: Orca Recovery Task Force Meeting in Wenatchee


WHAT: Orca Salmon Alliance to deliver 43,000 signatures of support for orca recovery

WHERE: Confluence Technology Center, 85 technology center way, Wenatchee

WHEN: Tuesday, August 7 at 12:30 pm

WHO: Orca Salmon Alliance, www.orcasalmonalliance.org

In conjunction with Governor Inslee’ Orca Recovery Task Force meeting in Wenatchee, the Orca Salmon Alliance (OSA) will deliver over 43,000 signatures of support for bold, effective, and measurable actions for orca recovery. The broad and deep public support was generated during Orca Awareness Month in June. 2018 marks the 12th year that Washingtonians celebrated Orca Awareness Month. Started over a decade ago by Orca Network, Orca Awareness Month bring together our Pacific Northwest communities to draw attention to the plight of the endangered Southern resident orcas and inspire action to recover them to a healthy population. Orca Recovery Task Force Co-chairs Stephanie Solien and Les Purce will accept the 43,000 public comments and signatures on behalf of Governor Inslee.

“Even before the heartbreaking news of J35’s deceased calf, the public is in full support of and expecting Governor Inslee and the Orca Recovery Task Force to take bold, creative solutions in order to begin implementing near-term, truly effective actions immediately,” says Orca Salmon Alliance. “Southern Resident orcas are icons of Washington State, they are critically endangered, they are starving for lack of salmon, and without leadership and bold action, we will lose these orcas forever.”

SOUND THE ALARM FOR ORCAS statement of support by the public:

Orca Recovery Task Force Members:

We, the undersigned, urge the Orca Recovery Task Force to develop significant policy and program recommendations that will support meaningful actions to recover Southern Resident orcas. It is imperative that the Task Force addresses the following issues identified by the Orca Salmon Alliance to prevent the extinction of Southern Resident orcas:

  • Prioritize and accelerate salmon habitat restoration and fish-barrier removal projects that will most benefit orcas.
  • Explore and support near-term actions that would increase chinook salmon productivity and survival in the Columbia River basin by maximizing beneficial spill at the lower Snake and Columbia River dams.
  • Increase and secure funding for pollution prevention and clean-up programs.
  • Identify and commit to meeting an ecologically relevant noise reduction goal.
  • Develop recommendations to reduce the risk of an oil spill and improve safety measures for oil transportation.
  • Recommend that the state create a permanent position for an Orca Recovery Coordinator to manage, direct, and coordinate ongoing recovery efforts.

The Task Force must be guided by an overall goal of growing and managing healthy, resilient, connected, and functional ecosystems. Continued and expanded reliance on technologies and human interventions – rather than on functional ecosystems – will be unlikely to meet the needs of salmon, orcas, or people.

Orca Salmon Alliance was founded in 2015 to prevent the extinction of the Southern Resident orcas by recovering the wild Chinook salmon populations upon which the whales depend for their survival. OSA members include Orca Network, Defenders of Wildlife, Save Our Wild Salmon, Washington Environmental Council, Oceana, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Endangered Species Coalition, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Puget Soundkeeper, Center for Biological Diversity, Seattle Aquarium, Whale Scout, and Toxic Free Future.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.