Puget Sound orca protection: What’s next? Find out with The Whale Trail on Thursday

(Photo by Mark Sears – permit 21348)

What did the Legislature approve to protect Puget Sound orcas, and what happens next? You can find out at The Whale Trail‘s next gathering, which also will feature orca researcher Mark Sears. Here’s the announcement for the event Thursday night (May 16th):

“Celebrate Orca Legislation and Puget Sound Orca Update Featuring Mark Sears”

When: Thursday, May 16, 7:00 – 8:30
–Doors open at 6:30
Where: C & P Coffee Company, 5612 California Ave SW
Cost: $5 suggested donation; kids free
Advance tickets: brownpapertickets.com

Last week Governor Jay Inslee signed five bills to protect southern resident orcas. The new laws will reduce vessel noise and disturbance, improve salmon habitat, reduce contaminants, provide protection from oil spills, and educate boaters. The Canadian Government also announced new measures to protect orcas including establishing feeding sanctuaries for the orcas and setting a distance setback of 400 yards for all vessels. A good week for the whales!

Join us to celebrate a new era in orca protection, and hear an update about orca activity in Puget Sound from whale researcher Mark Sears. Learn what’s next for orcas, the Task Force, and the Whale Trail, and how you can help!

Buy tickets now to reserve your seat.

Our report on last month’s Whale Trail gathering/presentation is here.

10 Replies to "Puget Sound orca protection: What's next? Find out with The Whale Trail on Thursday"

  • Chuck May 14, 2019 (4:11 pm)

    What good is a feeding sanctuary without food? Our whales need salmon, and salmon need habitat. That means rivers with clean spawning gravel and steady outflow in the spring to speed outbound migration to the sea. Free from fish or even sea lion predators waiting at the bottom of the dam’s spillover waiting to feast on disoriented smolts. /  While I am pleased positive steps are being taken like noise and distance barriers, anything short of bringing down the Snake River dams is just so much window dressing. And if we don’t act fast there won’t be a single whale left to watch.  Not at all surprised at these “feel good” steps signed into law by our Governor, but we need real leadership on this issue, and fast. And this guy wants to run for President? Sorry, but these short term solutions just come up short, again. Our whales deserve better. The world is watching. 

    • Lagartija Nick May 15, 2019 (9:44 am)

      While there are plenty of other environmental reasons for removing the Snake River dams, their removal would do nothing for the southern resident orca population in Puget Sound. The Snake/Columbia River does not empty into the Sound and those fish go out into the Pacific Ocean. Removing the Skagit River dams would have much more impact, but the political will for that is even less than Snake River dam removal.

  • Heartless? May 14, 2019 (5:25 pm)

    Circle of Life.  Humans are part of nature too.  What ultimately happens with these whales is just another chapter in the long natural history of the earth.  Sad? Yes.  True? Yes.

    • WSB May 14, 2019 (5:40 pm)

      What we’re doing to them is anything but natural.

  • hopelearns May 14, 2019 (5:34 pm)

    I agree with your concerns. Perhaps the gathering Thursday night will be an opportunity to find out where Whale Trail stands on further steps, and how to further collaborate as a community. 

  • TJ May 14, 2019 (9:25 pm)

    Removing the Snake River dams is unlikely, and would be many years down the road IF it ever happens. I can tell you that there is little support for it on the east side of the mountains where these actually are. I do contract work with local utilities and attended the Northwest Utility meeting last year where this topic came up from a invited environmental speaker, who was speaking like there was no debate on whether the dams should come down, and had some crazy 5 year timeline that was “critical”. He received sharp criticism, particularily when he said that the next step would be Columbia River dam removal. 

    • Chuck May 15, 2019 (9:42 am)

      Oh, I fully understand the eastside resistance, having lived in Wenatchee. It’s human nature to cling to our “achievements,” even knowing they are doing more harm than good. The Elwha dam removal gives me hope that our region is actually more ready for change than believed. If the states can’t get it done, the Feds will eventually be forced to intercede. It WILL happen at the rate of population decline we are seeing, it’s just a question of it being soon enough to reverse the damage done. 

  • anonyme May 15, 2019 (5:52 am)

    Yes, humans are part of the circle of life, and just as vulnerable to our current, human-caused mass extinction as any other species.  However, human activity is anything but natural.  Our species is like a parasite on this planet and we have over-populated, over-consumed, and poisoned this place to the point of no return.  We behave as if our species is the only one that matters, to our own demise.  I would love it if an intelligent species like orca became more prevalent in the coming water world, but until humans are gone no other species has a chance.  I feel fortunate to have seen a lot of the natural world before the great poisoning, when one could drive down a country road and hundreds of frogs would leap into undisturbed, roadside wetlands where dozens of turtles rested on logs and the air was raucous with birdsong and cicadas.  It’s all quiet now.  I feel sad for the children of today, who will never experience these things. or see a wild orca.

  • MJ May 15, 2019 (9:02 am)

    Orcas are incredibly intelligent animals, many of their kin hunt Sea Lions and other prey.  Sea Lions are abundant and if they learned to prey on them some of the challenge is resolved, not all!People need to learn to coexist with other animals.

    • Chuck May 15, 2019 (2:27 pm)

      Sorry, but to think that the our salmon eating locals are going to switch to mammals is just wishful thinking. I’m no biologist, but two distinct feeding preferences (salmon eating and mammal eating) evolved along two different Orca lines so that there would be no competition for food even while these large predators overlapped territories. Please, let’s not lessen the severity of our local’s plight with make believe. And to go a step further, what do you think the seals and sea lions are eating? Yup, salmon. Knock down the dams, bring back the fish and we all win. Even humans who do NOT need the river for transporting grain, or even power. Maybe electric prices rise, but a small price to pay. My two cents. 

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