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Free the Snake>>Feed the Orcas

by Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Salmon Initiative category: Environment

“Ask Gov. Inslee to support Obama taking executive action to breach the lower Snake River dams. Call now 360-902-4111 http://thndr.me/PFK1xC

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Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Salmon Initiative
Supporters
782 of 500
156% of goal supported
Social Reach
1,409,313
People
Time Left
Complete

Complete

This campaign ended on February 08, 2016 at 12PM

Free the Snake>>Feed the Orcas

The iconic and captivating Southern Resident killer whales were added to the endangered species list ten years ago. One of the top threats facing these whales is lack of primary prey, Chinook salmon, also endangered. NOAA's 2008 SRKW recovery plan states; "Perhaps the single greatest change in food availability for the resident whales since the late 1800s has been the decline of salmon from the Columbia River Basin."

Recovery efforts have been insufficient. The orcas are now considered a Species in the Spotlight and are awaiting an official revision of their critical habitat, which would include the outer coasts of Washington, Oregon and California. Scale and tissue samples from fish killed by the orcas has enabled scientists to verify the connection of winter kills with the Upper Columbia and Snake River.

The recent “baby-boom” stresses the importance of working to provide these orcas with more food now. As healthy as these new calves may be at birth, there is still a chance that only half could survive their first year. In the face of starvation, orcas will metabolize their highly toxic fat stores into their blood stream. This is a double edged sword, action must be taken today.

The Columbia River Basin was once the largest salmon producing river system in the world. Today, fifty-six dams throughout the basin have brought wild salmon to the brink of extinction. The Snake River, the largest tributary of the Columbia, has the greatest potential to recover its endangered wild salmon populations, thus providing more prey for the Southern Residents. The lower Snake spans fifty miles with four dams restricting access to a 5500 mile expanse of cool climate change resilient Chinook spawning and rearing streams. The lower Snake dams no longer meet their congressionally authorized intent, if the costs exceed the benefits.

The Southern Residents need our help. Write, call or email Senators Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell and Governor Jay Inslee and ask them to support President Obama taking executive action to breach the lower Snake River dams. Until these politicians hear from us on a large scale, they have calculated that they can take the voters in Western Washington for granted, and can stay silent on the issue of whether the orcas and Snake River salmon survive.

Our legislators need to hear from us early on in 2016. Please call!

Sign our petition here

  • DON'T FORGET TO CALL! ORCAS NEED WILD SNAKE RIVER SALMON!

    February 9, 2016

    Ask Washington State decision makers to support Obama taking executive action to breach the lower Snake River dams.

    Office of Governor Jay Inslee
    PO Box 40002
    Olympia, WA 98504-0002
    Send a message
    360-902-4111

    Office of U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell
    511 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20510
    Send a message
    206-220-6400

    Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray
    154 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20510
    Send a message
    206-553-5545

  • DON'T ALLOW THE STATUS QUO TO CONTINUE, SUPPORT EXECUTIVE ACTION TO BREACH LOWER SNAKE DAMS

    February 8, 2016

    We have been working closely with Jim Waddell, the retired Army Corps engineer featured in DamNation, and many others to convince President Obama to issue an executive order to breach the dams.  As Jim likes to say, we are in the fourth quarter of the game and we need to get to the end zone.  With the help of a generous donor and our t-shirt drive, we have funded a Snake River hydropower report, recreation reports and a soon to be finished cost/benefit report prepared by Earth Economics, a well reputed firm in Tacoma, Washington.  We also have been working closely with fisheries biologists and engineers drafting papers to address the reasons why dam breaching must begin no later than November 1, 2016, if it is going to happen during the Obama administration.  Most of the papers are posted at our website, srkwcsi.org and at damsense.org.  More will be posted as soon as they are final.

    Among the more interesting key facts to date:

    • In May 2015, among species protected by NOAA Fisheries under the ESA, NOAA Fisheries listed the Southern Resident Killer Whales as among the eight species most at risk of extinction.
    • The hydropower produced by the harmful and costly four lower Snake River dams is surplus.  The power is not needed.  
    • Wind energy has replaced the power generated by the dams three times over.
    • In 2012 the Bonneville Power Administration paid wind energy producers $2.7 to shut down their windmills due to oversupply.  
    • Taxpayers throughout the nation are paying hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize the Pacific Northwest’s so-called “cheap” energy generated by the dams.
    • For all intents and purposes container shipping ceased on the lower Snake River in April 2015, when the last container shipping lines pulled out of the Port of Portland.
    • Farmers are switching over to rail to ship their products.  Subsidizing farmers for rail transport is far cheaper than the current subsidies for barge transport.
    • Breaching the dams will create 3000 to 4000 recreation jobs along the river corridor.

    We are destroying an ecosystem without reason.  The dams must be breached now to increase the abundance of spring/summer and fall Chinook salmon so there is enough food for the nine new calves and the entire Southern Resident Killer Whale population.

    We are getting nowhere with our Washington State politicians, and it’s not for lack of effort.  We still need to convince Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Governor Jay Inslee to support President Obama in taking executive action to breach the dams.  To date our efforts to meet with these politicians have not produced results.  Conventional wisdom is that they are terrified of touching the Snake River dam issue, because of political and powerful money interests in eastern Washington.   We need to make these politicians understand they also work for us.  They need to hear the message that the dams must be breached to save iconic Pacific Northwest salmon and orcas.  We need to let the politicians know they should take us as seriously as the 1% they have been listening to in eastern Washington.

    Click here to convince Washington State decision makers to support Obama taking Executive Action to breach the lower Snake Dams. Please spread this message far and wide! 

    Thank you for your support!

Organizer

Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Salmon Initiative

We are a coalition of individuals and organizations who support executive action to breach the four lower Snake River dams to save the endangered Southern Resident killer whales from extinction.

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