Letter: Our Southern resident orcas are in peril


Living on Whidbey Island is magical, with sweeping views out onto the majestic beauty of the Salish sea.

Our natural environment inspires us with awe. Wild salmon, summer mists and orcas breaching fill our hearts with joy, but we islanders are only too aware that as we look out across the waters we know that all is not well in the Salish sea.

News can be disheartening when we learn that oceans warming and acidifying, drugs in shellfish, interference of dams on the Snake river, shoreline alterations and shipping all threaten the salmon and orcas and the complex, delicate ecosystem that we also call home as well as to our own well being.

The Seattle Times published a number of articles recently focusing on the orca’s struggle for life.

The headline in the Feb. 24 Times article stated, “Going hungry chinook, orcas — and their fight to survive.”

April 2 2019, the Seattle Times said, Puget Sound Orcas wow Monterey Bay, California, “The whales could just be working off the memory of fish that use to be there.”

To help restore what we love it will take loving, bold leadership as well as courageous and collective action and our communities working together to make change.

One immediate action we can take to bring about this much needed change is the implementation of the Orca Emergency Response Legislation.

This legislation will put into action: reductions of toxic pollutants in our ocean; begin to restore natural habitats vital to the survival of chinook salmon and the orcas and create a no go buffer zone to allow orcas to be safe.

Only a few days ago I watched a pod of orcas in Clinton being harassed by a fishing vessel only to find out that, due to lack of funding, NOAA could not send out a boat to safeguard them.

Let us all come together as one voice to support the governor’s recommended bills and make progress to build on for future years and help save the orca and the chinook and all of life on earth.

Melissa Koch


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