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Attention to the Orcas

by Kat Beck
The Olympian, June 20, 2021

A young resident killer whale chases a chinook salmon near Vancouver Island. (Photograph by John Durban/NOAA The nation’s attention is now on the survival of the whales that glide through the cool waters of the Pacific Northwest. The Southern Resident Orcas are in the best condition we have seen in over a decade. There are new plans to restrict non-tribal fisheries to save salmon populations for our orcas to eat, which is undoubtedly a good thing.

But, scientists warn that this critical species will not survive unless we take bolder action.

This spring, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho unveiled a plan to restore our salmon and save our orcas by breaching the Lower Snake River dams. While not perfect, the plan is an important starting point. The removal of the dams would allow salmon to migrate to their spawning grounds swiftly, and regenerate the salmon populations that are reaching quasi-extinction levels.

Now is the time for our U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray to step up and support the removal of the dams to help save two species the Pacific Northwest holds near and dear.

Kat Beck, Olympia
Attention to the Orcas
The Olympian, June 20, 2021

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