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Orca Network ACTION Page
What YOU can do to help the whales

Help us help the whales
by treading lightly on this earth,
working to restore and preserve our salmon runs,
watersheds and marine ecosystems.


July 27, 2018 - This has been an especially difficult week for all of us who love and work for the future of our endangered Southern Resident orcas, as we watch J35 and her family grieve over the loss of her new calf. This can leave us feeling helpless and frustrated, and we want to provide a way to channel our grief into effective actions each of us can take to make a brighter future for our beloved orcas.

We begin with some little-known truths about the fastest way to bring the most chinook salmon into the foraging habitat of the beloved Southern Resident orcas, followed by a variety of ways to effect real improvement in the overall health and wellness of this precious and unique orca clan:

A few facts seem pretty clear.

Southern Resident orcas are starving chronically and sporadically, leading to stillbirths and early deaths, compounded by toxic pollutants in their bodies. Southern Residents depend mainly on Chinook salmon and those salmon are at historic lows and still dropping.

While every restoration effort, dam removal, and harvest restriction helps, by far the largest possible increase in salmon would result from breaching the 4 lower Snake River dams.

The Army Corps of Engineers has the authority and the funding at this time to begin breaching the 4 lower Snake River dams under their 2002 EIS, as Option #4. Career officials in DC understand the cost savings from removing the dams and would support that.

The Army Corps in DC won't order the Walla Walla District to begin breaching without hearing from the Washington delegation, namely Gov. Inslee and senior Senator Murray.

Gov. Inslee and Sen. Murray won't provide that support without widespread support and public awareness that breaching is needed to avoid the extinction of multiple salmon populations and Southern Resident orcas. It is within their power to provide the political backing to authorize the Army Corps to commence breaching in the coming year.

To provide the greatest increase in Chinook and other salmon for the starving Southern Resident orcas, it would be most effective to direct our sense of urgency and our educational efforts toward informing the public that dam breaching could begin in 2018 with the support of the people of Washington, expressed by Gov. Inslee and Sen. Murray.

The complete explanation of the economic, political, technological, and logistical potential for removing the earthen berms beside the four lower Snake River dams can be found HERE.

Also, please contact your elected officials (link to find your elected officials) and the Governor's office (360-902-4111) and RESPECTFULLY urge them to:

~ Take fast action to increase Chinook and chum hatchery production to help Southern Resident orcas in the near term;
~ Move forward with breaching the four Lower Snake River Dams, including working with Eastern Washington farmers and stakeholders to mitigate any changes dam breaching might cause;
~ Give Southern Resident orcas a significant allotment of the Chinook "take;"
~ Increase funding and conservation easements to provide and restore salmon habitat, especially in key river systems that provide food for orcas;
~ Contact your federal representatives and ask them to strengthen, not weaken, the Endangered Species Act; go to: and List of ESA changes being made or proposed;
~ Support and/or volunteer for your favorite salmon, habitat, and orca nonprofit organizations;
~ Become an Orca Network volunteer - help us at outreach events and/or become a volunteer at our Langley Whale Center or Whale Sighting Network - to find out how, contact us at info@orcanetwork.org.

Your personal letters are one of the most effective ways to raise awareness and motivate people to help protect the whales.

Click HERE to see how to write a Letter to the Editor or to public officials The information on this page is gathered from a variety of sources, including 101 Ways to Heal the Earth, in honor and memory of John Munn, WSU Extension Naturalist and Earth Steward extraordinaire. We invite all of you to be stewards of our earth and water, and to share these ideas with your friends, neighbors and families.

Take ACTION throughout the Salish Sea:

Help the Puget Sound Partnership clean up and restore the vitality of Puget Sound. The public is welcome to attend the Partnership's regular meetings.

You can stop junk mail with Catalog Choice.

Get the latest news and information on the state's efforts to address climate change from a new ListServ provided by the Department of Ecology. Get information on meetings, updates and accomplishments from the various committees working to address climate change. You also will get news and information on Washington state and global climate change issues. To join, visit Dept. of Ecology Climate Change Website.

Take ACTION in your home:

Save Energy:
  • Insulate your home, caulk & weatherstrip doors & windows, install storm windows & doors (local power companies often offer good deals on energy-saving measures such as these - check with your local power company for details).
  • Close off unused areas of your home from heat & air conditioning.
  • Wear warm clothing & turn down heat in winter.
  • Switch to low-wattage or fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Turn off all lights that don't need to be on.
  • Use cold water instead of hot whenever possible.
  • Opt for small oven or stove-top cooking when preparing small meals.
  • Run dishwashers only when full.
  • Set refrigerators to 38 degrees F, freezers to 5 degrees F, no colder.
  • Run clothes washers full, but don't overload them.
  • Air dry your laundry when possible.
  • Clean the lint screen in your dryer.
  • Instead of ironing, hang clothes in the bathroom while showering.
  • Insulate your water heater, set it at 121 degrees F.
  • Plant deciduous shade trees that protect windows from summer sun but allow it in during the winter.
  • Explore getting a solar water heater for your home.


  • Save Water:
  • Take quick showers instead of baths.
  • Install water-efficient showerheads & sink-faucet aerators.
  • Install an air-assisted, low-flow, or composting toilet.
  • Collect rainwater & graywater for gardening use.


  • Save Resources:
  • Recycle, reduce & reuse all your household goods - from clothing to motor oil to appliances to newspaper, glass, tin, aluminum & plastic.
  • Use recycled or used products whenever possible.
  • Use post-consumer recycled paper or tree-free paper alternatives.
  • Bring your own cloth bag to the grocery store.
  • Start a recycling program at your workplace.
  • Limit or eliminate your use of "disposable" items.
  • Avoid using anything made of plastic foam. It is often made from CFC's & it never biodegrades.


  • Don't Pollute:
  • Use small or moderate amounts of biodegradable detergents.
  • Avoid overuse of pesticides or fertilizers.


  • Take ACTION when you travel:
  • Join a carpool or use public transportation to commute.
  • Walk or bike instead of drive when traveling shorter distances.
  • If your car gets less than 35 mpg, sell it & buy a small fuel-efficient model or one of the hybrids now available.
  • Convert to biodiesel in your car, truck or boat.
  • Maintain & tune up your vehicle regularly for maximum gas mileage.


  • To help spread the word to encourage people to call in and email sightings when they see whales, download this:


    Got Whales poster
    to print, cut and post on bulletin boards around marinas and waterfront parks all around the Salish Sea.

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