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Social Media Campaign Urges Kids
to Help Beleaguered Sea Lions

by Sandy McElhaney
Examiner, April 14, 2012

California sea lions consuming salmon just below the Columbia River's Bonneville Dam. (U.S. Corps of Engineers photo) With 4 sea lions already dead at the hands of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel and 26 more facing the same fate, the social media campaign Save Misty the Dolphin has called upon kids of the world to come to the aid of the harassed pinnipeds.

Earlier today, the group posted a drawing of a sea lion on its facebook page along with the following message:

CALLING ALL KIDS - Here is how YOU can help SAVE the Bonneville Sea Lions:

At the Bonneville Dam, California Sea Lions are being killed because they are eating salmon. Fishermen are allowed to catch the salmon, but sea lions aren't. Sea lions who catch too many salmon are killed by state officials. These killings are legal because the states of Oregon and Washington have received permission from the federal government to kill the sea lions.

PLEASE color in this picture (or, even better, make your own picture of a California Sea Lion) and send it to the Governors of Oregon and Washington ALONG WITH A MESSAGE ASKING THEM TO STOP KILLING SEA LIONS AT THE BONNEVILLE DAM.

Here are the addresses for the Governors:

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, Oregon 97301-4047

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Please be sure to take a photo of your picture and share it on our facebook page before you send it. IF YOU WOULD CONSIDER MAKING A YOUTUBE VIDEO OF YOU DRAWING THE PICTURE AND THEN READING YOUR MESSAGE TO THE GOVERNORS, THAT WOULD BE EVEN BETTER! Thank you so much! YOU are awesome! Ask all of your friends to do the same! Let's all work together to save our friends the sea lions

By mid-day, an image of 4-year-old Marley Hauck holding two vibrantly colored sea lion drawings appeared on the campaign's facebook page along with the caption, "She agrees they need to stop killing the sea lions." Hauck's mom, Andrea explained that the tiny girl had seen images of the sea lions being held in cages at Bonneville Dam and told her mother that "it makes me sad when they kill the sea lions." Representatives of Save Misty the Dolphin praised Marley and urged other young people to follow suit by sending their drawings and messages to the governors.

On March 15, the federal government authorized the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho to use lethal means to remove sea lions from the Bonneville Dam. The states allege that the sea lions are eating too many endangered salmon. The authorization was quickly challenged by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). A lawsuit is pending in federal court. In the meantime, U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg denied a temporary restraining order filed by HSUS, and ruled that up to 30 sea lions can be killed by lethal injection at the Bonneville Dam.

The states wasted no time setting their traps. By April 3, two sea lions were dead. Following the kill, Robin Brown, Marine Mammal Program Leader for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife submitted a "removal report" to the federal National Marine Fisheries Service, noting that the animals had been euthanized and "various biological samples were collected for examination and the remaining materials were disposed of in accordance with applicable laws and regulations." As this tragedy unfolded, several groups, including Save Misty the Dolphin, the Sea Lion Defense Brigade and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, reached out to their constituents, urging them to contact the Governors of Oregon and Washington to grant clemency to the remaining sea lions targeted for extermination. On April 13, Save Misty the Dolphin led an International Telephone Protest to Save the Bonneville Sea Lions. This event was followed by today's announcement of the children's drawing campaign.

To learn how you can become involved in the efforts to save the Bonneville Sea Lions, please contact these groups:

Humane Society of the United States - For the past several years, the Humane Society has been championing the cause of the Bonneville Sea Lions in court, in congress and with federal and state agencies.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society - is looking for volunteers to be Dam Guardians in WA and OR in the US. The organization needs volunteers to be present at the Bonneville Dam and at the trap site in Astoria, Oregon. SSCS is looking for folks who can work independently, professionally, be calm, cool, deliberate, intense, courageous and passionate. To become involved, fill out the On shore volunteer application and send to: For more on Sea Shepherd's approach to the issue read Impressions on the Bonneville Dam

Sea Lion Defense Brigade - a grassroots campaign on the ground at the Dam monitoring, recording and reporting on activities impacting the Bonneville Sea Lions.

Save Misty the Dolphin - started the petition to Save the Bonneville Sea Lions, reports on activities impacting them & uses social media efforts to support their cause.

Related Sites:
NOAA Authorizes States To Remove Sea Lions That Threaten Protected Salmon ENews Park Forest, 3/15/12

Related Pages:
Not Many Sea Lions, But Two 'Individually Identifiable' Salmon Eaters Trapped, Killed by Staff, Columbia Basin Bulletin, 4/6/12 / ecologic / predation / sea lions

Sandy McElhaney
Social Media Campaign Urges Kids to Help Beleaguered Sea Lions
Examiner, April 14, 2012

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