Endangered Orca Recovery Focus of Regionwide Day of Action

orcaTen of Puget Sound’s conservation districts have teamed up for a first-ever region-wide day of action to connect people to Puget Sound, the critically endangered southern resident killer whales and the work that needs to be done to save them.

The conservation districts will host events focusing on this most-iconic species of the Pacific Northwest on Saturday, Nov. 10. The Pierce County Conservation District’s Orca Recovery Day takes place in Gig Harbor, at Tacoma Narrows Park, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The restoration events will address two of the primary causes of orca whale decline: malnutrition due to salmon scarcity and increasing water pollution. These volunteer events will include salmon stream restoration plantings, rain garden installations and marine shoreline restoration at some of the locations. Each event will also feature educational programming to inspire participants with ideas of what they can do every day to help orca recovery.

The southern resident killer whales that call Puget Sound home are critically endangered. In the past few months alone, two of the local orcas died from a combination of malnutrition, polluted waters, and stress from local boat traffic. The local population is down to only 74 orcas. The conservation district organizers says now is the time to act now to save the orcas, and it will take people from across the region joining in to do so.

The 10 locations throughout the region will include:

  • Clallam County: Carrie Blake Park, Sequim, 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Whatcom County: Lake Terrell, Ferndale, 9 a.m. – noon
  • Mason County: Bayshore Preserve, Shelton 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Thurston County: Harmony Farms, Henderson Inlet, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Skagit County: Trumpeter Creek, Mount Vernon, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Whidbey Island: Whidbey Conservation District, Coupeville, 9: a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Pierce County: Tacoma Narrows Park, Gig Harbor, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • King County: Judd Creek, Vashon Island, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Snohomish County: Woods Creek, Monroe, 9 a.m. – noon
  • San Juan Island: Site TBD, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

These events are family-friendly and designed for everyday people to volunteer in their local community to address the known factors that directly impact the health of our local orca whale population.

Go to BetterGround.org to find more detailed information of day of activities, a detailed interactive story map of the issues facing southern resident killer whales and examples of what people can do every day to help in the recovery efforts.